The long history of transatlantic higher education relations has resulted in a myriad of impacts, including the formation of now iconic American institutions (e.g., Johns Hopkins University), core concepts underlying academic life (e.g., academic freedom), the protection of scholars at risk (e.g., the University in Exile), the rapid growth of universities in the 1960s and 1970s as European professors filled the posts needed to support a burgeoning student population, and the research capacity today of both Canada and the US (something the EU is seeking to track via their ERA-Link program).
The transatlantic relationship has evolved, of course, and now includes a growing number of joint and dual/double degree programs. This said virtually no one has a broad understanding of the nature nor impact of these programs.
Given this lacunae of knowledge, and given the significant interest demonstrated in our series regarding international double and joint degrees:
- ‘Engaging globally through joint and dual degrees: the graduate experience‘ (by Diana B. Carlin, Dean-in-Residence and Director of International Outreach, US Council of Graduate Schools)
- ‘Engaging globally through joint and double degree programmes: a view from Singapore‘ (by Lily Kong, Vice-President (University and Global Relations), National University of Singapore)
- ‘Engaging globally through dual degree programs: SUNY in Turkey‘ (by Kavita Pandit, Senior Vice Provost, State University of New York (SUNY) System Administration)
we are happy to support the Freie Universität Berlin (via their Transatlantic Degree Programs Project (TDP), and the Institute of International Education (IIE), as they coordinate a special survey on transatlantic joint and dual/double degree programs.
The survey is available here, and the responses are due by May 1. Please consider filling the survey out if you have established or manage such degrees.
As the survey organizers put it:
The overall goal of the survey is to assess the current landscape of transatlantic degree programs, identify inherent challenges and opportunities of expanding existing or developing new programs, and to solicit best practices. So far, there is only limited information available on the number and types of transatlantic programs, the higher education institutions involved in developing these programs, and the disciplines in which such programs have been established. This survey aims to fill that gap and create an inventory of existing models and examples of transatlantic curriculum cooperation.
By collecting this information, we hope to provide valuable information for higher education professionals and policymakers on the current transatlantic degree programs landscape, including an analysis of the challenges and barriers to developing them and recommendations and guidelines for universities on both sides of the Atlantic to implement successful programs.
The survey results will be used to create an International Degree Programs Manual. Codification and guidance (via manuals) brings with it pros and cons, but we can all benefit from enhancing our understanding on this emerging phenomenon, especially given the incredible amount of energy required to bring these degrees to life.
Kris Olds & Susan Robertson