As seen in MarketWatch:

AHEA and CONAHEC join forces to facilitate opportunities for members to engage and collaborate in curriculum co-development and programmatic internationalization through virtual exchange.

American Higher Education Alliance (AHEA) and the Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration (CONAHEC) today announced their partnership to facilitate opportunities for members of both organizations to engage and collaborate in curriculum co-development and programmatic internationalization through virtual exchange via AHEA’s InspirED™ platform.

The partnership was established to address the needs of higher education as the world comes to grips with the impact of COVID-19. Colleges and universities are preparing for an extensive and rapid transition to online-only modes of academic interaction. The need to further develop pedagogical methods to ensure student engagement for virtual or hybrid delivery models needs to be addressed now. The disruption of international student mobility and academic exchange requires higher education to re-envision the future of international education.

“Our member institutions were not fully prepared for the exodus of the international students they had on campus, nor for the sudden repatriation of many of the students they had sent abroad,” said Santiago Castiello Gutiérrez, mobility coordinator for CONAHEC.  He went on to say “Technological developments and their broadening adoption mean that acquisition of intercultural knowledge and skills is no longer as travel-dependent. Virtual academic mobility and technology mediated exchange hold great promise for much wider, more affordable access to international and intercultural experiences.”

Currently, faculties at AHEA’s and CONAHEC’s member institutions are collaborating on multiple academic activities such as faculty development, co-curricular development, virtual student exchange programs, and their assessment methods in an online or hybrid delivery environment.  “The partnership between CONAHEC and AHEA will help faculty and students develop their intercultural competencies and institutions to strengthen their partnerships with peers abroad,” said Sean Manley-Casimir, executive director of CONAHEC. “Through this symbiotic relationship, our member institutions will be able to work collaboratively with their peers in different countries to internationalize their curricula and to expose their students to new perspectives.”

“Both organizations share the same core beliefs that it just made sense for us to join forces and address these challenges higher education is facing together” said Benjamin Shank, CEO of AHEA. “The pandemic has placed physical and economic limits on both institutions and students. Our partnership is to empower academic institutions and their missions, which ultimately benefits the students. We are working to establish a path for the future of higher education where global faculty collaboration results in innovative academic programs, and help higher education leaders anticipate change and prepare their students for success.”