Wright State inks partnership agreement with English university

Stephen Foster, Wright State’s associate vice president for international affairs (bottom row second from right), and Helen Valentine, deputy vice chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University in England (bottom row third from right), sign a memorandum of understanding that formalizes the partnership between the two universities. Foster and Valentine are flanked by Wright State officials and members of the Anglia Ruskin delegation.

An agreement that promises to strengthen Wright State’s partnership with a university in Cambridge, England, and pave the way for research opportunities and more student exchanges was signed by officials from both schools.

A memorandum of understanding with Anglia Ruskin University was signed by the school’s deputy vice chancellor, Helen Valentine, and Stephen Foster, Wright State’s associate vice president for international affairs. The Nov. 20 signing ceremony  was held at Wright State’s University Center for International Education.

It followed a three-day visit to Wright State by Anglia Ruskin officials, who met with Wright State President David R. Hopkins, administrators, deans and students, and included information sessions on student affairs, research, campus recreation and social media.

“We see so many touching points, so many similarities between the two institutions,” said Valentine.

Anglia Ruskin is a school of 31,000 with campuses in Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough. It supplies many of the region’s teachers, nurses, midwives and social workers.

The eight-person delegation’s visit to Wright State was a result of the Wright State College of Education and Human Services’ Student Affairs in Higher Education program, which prepares students for leadership roles in student affairs offices at colleges and universities to help enhance student growth and success. Offices can include academic advising, career development, alumni services, fundraising, student activities, health services, financial aid, athletics and other services.

Three years ago, an international track was created at Wright State to enable students to better understand the international aspects of student affairs in higher education. As part of that effort, six Wright State SAHE students were sent to Anglia Ruskin over the past two years to work three 40-hour weeks as interns

The students analyzed Anglia Ruskin’s academic advising, career services, alumni development and other systems and then made recommendations for service enhancement.

Roxanne DuVivier, an assistant professor in the program, says the partnership agreement opens the door for students at both Wright State and Anglia Ruskin to seamlessly and affordably study at the partner institution.

Michelle Streeter-Ferrari, director of UCIE, said the agreement should also create study-abroad opportunities at Anglia Ruskin for other colleges at Wright State. She said many students are looking for study-abroad opportunities in an English-speaking setting.

“It seems like this will be the start of something really fruitful,” she said. “We’re living more and more in a global society and need to prepare our students for that.”

DuVivier believes the agreement will also broaden research opportunities and that Wright State will benefit from connecting with Anglia Ruskin’s sustainability institute.

During their visit to Wright State, the Anglia Ruskin officials wanted to learn how to better engage with their students.

“Our overall sense is that you do a lot more than we do around binding students to Wright Stateusing the colors, using the mascot, playing sports, celebrating success on walls all through the university,” Valentine said. “All of us have been really impressed with that. We’ll be going back and trying to emulate some of that.”

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