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IUPUI Wins Prestigious Heiskell International Education Award for International Partnerships


January 26, 2009

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The Institute of International Education (IIE) announced today it will award the Andrew Heiskell Award for International Partnerships to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

 The prestigious Heiskell Awards were established by IIE to recognize and promote outstanding international higher education initiatives among its member colleges and universities.  Heiskell awards are presented by IIE in three categories. In addition to International Partnerships, the awards are presented for “Internationalizing the Campus” and “Study Abroad.”

IUPUI embarked upon an innovative, campus-wide program that places a select and strategic set of partnerships at the heart of its internationalization efforts four years ago, said IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz. “These strategic partnerships go far beyond the occasional exchange of faculty and students that characterize standard institutional linkages.  These partnerships emphasize transformation over transaction, collaboration over exchange.  They are dynamic bi-national academic communities, which develop collaborative programs and initiatives far beyond what either institution could do on its own. “

The strategic set of  partnerships are Moi University (Moi) in Eldoret, Kenya; Sun Yat Sen (SYSU) in Guangzhou, China; and the Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo (UAEH) in Pachuca, Mexico.

According to Susan Sutton, Associate Vice Chancellor of International Affairs at IUPUI, IU Associate Vice President, and Chancellor's Professor of Anthropology, these partnerships  resulted from wide-ranging discussions among several hundred faculty and administrators, reflect the importance of each region for international learning, existing or potential ties between Indiana and these countries, and the  fit with IUPUI’s areas of excellence.

“The growth and impact of these strategic partnerships rests on their role as platforms for deep, cumulative learning, research, and engagement, such that new projects build on previous ones, students encounter these partners in a variety of courses and co-curricular activities, and a broad spectrum of faculty collaborate across national boundaries,” Sutton said. The result is an integrated set of activities that cuts across both institutions, enhances the capacity of each for international work, and is sustained over a long period, she added.

IUPUI Director of International Partnerships Ian McIntosh says, “Internationalization in the 21st century must be more than a process of infusing international resources and perspectives into our institutions, as important as this is. It must also be a process of drawing our institutions out into something larger than themselves.  It must take off from the recognition that international understanding requires international dialogue.  Seen in this light, internationalization very much rests on an institution’s ability to connect with the broader world, to engage in the global construction of knowledge, and to do so with cross-cultural skill and wisdom.  It rests as much on external networks as internal expertise.” 

According to Sutton, an advantage to this approach is that the campus no longer needs to hire dozens of new faculty to teach international courses because it can exchange courses and teach collaboratively with its partner institutions both virtually and face-to-face.

“ We identify skill at international dialogue and interaction to be key learning objectives for our students,” Bantz said. 

The goals of IIE's Heiskell Awards are to foster innovative ideas that will help international education professionals create and sustain new opportunities for students and faculty; to bring international education to the forefront of education policy; and to stimulate public awareness of the benefits of study abroad and international educational exchange.

IIE is the world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. Founded in 1919, the Institute is the world's most experienced global higher education and professional exchange organization. IIE has a network of 19 offices worldwide, over 780 college and university members, and more than 5,000 volunteers.The Heiskell award is named after Andrew Heiskell, a former chairman of Time Inc. and  member of the Executive Committee of IIE's Board of Trustees. He was a renowned international and cultural philanthropist and a long-time supporter of international education.

To view the IIE news release on the Heiskell Awards, visit