The sixth Global Partners in Education Conference was held between 5th and 10th May, 2013 in the city of krosno, Poland
The sixth Global Partners in Education Conference was held between 5th and 10th May, 2013 in the city of krosno, Poland. This is a middle-sized city with about 50,000 inhabitants in the south-east of Poland. It is close to Slovakia and Ukraine and it is an industrial centre with many modern technology companies and is also known worldwide for its glassworks. Krosno State College has three (3) Campuses dating back to the 17th century.
The Conference began on Monday, 6th May, 2013 with an opening ceremony at the University’s main Auditorium. In attendance were the Mayor of Krosno, Mr. Kochozki, the Rector of the College, Prof. Zchabinda, the Deputy Rector, Prof. Wladyslaw who was also the Master of Events and Dr. Austin Bunch, who represented the Vice Chancellor, East Carolina University. According to him, the GPE Project which involves cultural education and awareness across boarders using virtual learning methods has touched the lives of over 14,000 students from partner universities since inception.
Focus of the GPE VI Conference
The Conference focused on the training needs for GPE teachers and technicians.
The discussions were led by Dr. Jami Leibowitz (Associate Professor) for the teachers’ session and Prof. Biwu Yang for the technicians’ session. Some of the areas they looked at and which were extensively discussed by participants include:
- Minimal training for teachers and technicians
- Institutional maturity
- Relationship between teachers and technical support staff
- Getting the right Equipment
- Attitude and enthusiasm of the students to classes
- Regular Communication with University Administrators
- Developing the Wiki Site
- The Spirit of the Core and the Collaborative Projects
Presentations by GPE Partners on What Works and Challenges Faced
This session lasted for three days with eight (8) presentations. The presentations include:
i. Nilufer Pembecioglu, Istanbul University, Turkey. “Istanbul University Global Understanding Project”
ii. Kathrin Ullrich, Universidad Regiomontana, Mexico. “Using already existing GU-Technologies for College internationalization and Teacher training”
iii. Mariko Eguchi, University of Shimane, Japan. “Effects of Video Conferencing
on Non-native Speakers’ English Proficiency”
iv. Mariella Olivos, Escuela de Administracion de Negocios, Peru. “Virtual teams experience”
v. Charles Iruonagbe, Covenant University, Nigeria. “GPE Initiative: The Covenant University Experience”
vi. Wladyslaw Witalisz & Chris Brighton, Krosno State College, Poland. “From the peripheries to the global world: Krosno College experience with GPE and internationalization”
vii. Nadezhda Rudenko, Ural State Pedagogical University, Russian Federation & Marion Eppler, East Carolina University, USA. “Time Survey: ECU-USPU Collaborative Project”
viii. Sean White, Ryukoku University, Japan. “ Global Understanding at Ryukoku University, Japan: A Progress Report”
My presentation was on GPE Initiative and the Covenant University Experience. Here, I traced our participation in the GPE programme to the visit of Prof. Elmer Poe and Dr. Rosina Chia and the MoU signed between East Carolina University, USA and Covenant University, Nigeria on 24th January, 2012. I stated that the Management of Covenant University is completely in support of the programme including the fact that we have adequate technical facilities to cope with the project. I emphasized the need for the GPE to begin the process of generating funds through grants and from corporate bodies with which active members of the GPE (teachers and technicians) who may not get the required Institutional Financial support can be assisted to participate in the annual conferences. This will go a long way in motivating them for the overall success of the programme. I also emphasized on the need for East Carolina University to ensure that the GPE is not only visible on their website but must be linked with all fifty three (53) member Institutions of the GPE which will help enhance their University rankings. This will also motivate Management of Institutions to keep supporting the programme. In addition to this, for the students, there is the need for the GPE to begin the process for Exchange programmes between Partner Universities, so that contact can go beyond that of the virtual classroom. Through this, students will also become more enthusiastic about participating in the project.
Proposed Global Leadership Course
A proposal for a global leadership course was made by Dr. Austin Bunch and Dr. Leslie Pagliari from East Carolina University as a way of diversifying into other areas for Students and Faculty. They stated that Leadership must be seen as a relationship process that involves inspiring and influencing others to move in a common direction so as to accomplish a common goal. They affirmed that the world of work is becoming more competitive and we must begin to develop in our students strong leadership qualities. To achieve this, an understanding of leadership from a global perspective is important including the differences and similarities in leadership around the globe. According to them, this Project can be anchored in any of the following Departments: Sociology, Psychology, and Political Science or as a combined course in the three Departments. The four Universities nominated for the 2014 Pilot course include: East Carolina University, USA; Istanbul University, Turkey; Covenant University, Nigeria and Universidad de Monterrey, Mexico.
Industry and University Relationship
Krosno State College has been able to establish relationship with Industries in the city where their Lecturers and Students go to acquire practical experience with some of their lecturers acting as Consultants in some of these Companies. In addition to this, just as the city is noted all over the world for glass making, the University has a massive Glass making Factory that has generated a lot of resources for the Institution.
The next Conference in May 2014 will be held in Istanbul University, Turkey. The University was established in 1453 and it is ranked at 385 in the World University Ranking. It has a student population of about 98,000 and has about 7,000 Academic and Non-academic Staff.
The Conference was declared closed by by Prof. Wladyslaw Witalisz, Deputy Rector, Krosno State College with the expectation that we will all meet in Istanbul Turkey, in May 2014. Indeed, one thing was clear, which is that, the annual gathering has grown beyond being a Conference. Rather, it has become a reunion of one big global family.
My deep appreciation goes to God Almighty who knows the end from the beginning, for seeing me through the journey to Poland and back. I am grateful to the Chancellor, Dr. David Oyedepo for the vision he birthed and which I am a partaker of. I wish to thank the Education Secretary, Living Faith Church World Wide, Prof. Aize Obayan for her assistance. My gratitude goes to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. C.K. Ayo, for all his assistance, prompt attention to my needs and insight into things I needed to know which were of tremendous benefit during the conference. My appreciation also goes to the former Director, International Office and Linkages, Dr. Nnamdi Ekeanyanwu for helping to facilitate the entire process of the trip and to every other person who assisted in one way or the other.
Dr. T.C. Iruonagbe,
Department of Sociology,
Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria