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Connecticut College has announced new partnerships with institutions in both India and South Korea that will further enhance the College’s commitment to global education.
Several years in the making, these new reciprocal agreements between Conn and Ashoka University in India and Ewha Womans University in South Korea will offer a range of collaborative research programs and exchange opportunities for both students and faculty.
“The need for global cooperation has never been more important,” said Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron. “Our new partnerships with Ashoka and Ewha will create new avenues for our campus communities to share diverse perspectives and to shape a new generation of ethical leaders who can meet the global challenges of our time.”
In addition to undergraduate student and faculty exchange programs, these new collaborations will also provide opportunities for cross-cultural research and teaching initiatives by bringing students together in virtual classrooms.
“Partnership really is the future of global education,” said Amy Dooling, associate director of global initiatives and director of the Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement. “Relationships built on shared goals, mutual interests and a commitment to reciprocity will generate meaningful and ongoing collaborative endeavors that make the most of our distinct resources and curricular strengths.”
Founded in 2014, Ashoka University, located two hours from New Delhi in northern India, is a private liberal arts college with rich undergraduate and graduate-level curriculums that include more than 20 academic departments and a dozen interdisciplinary centers.
The seeds of Conn’s partnership with Ashoka were planted in 2015 through the Global Engagement in the Liberal Arts network that Conn helped establish that same year. In 2017, thanks in part to generous grants from the Endeavor Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Professor of Human Development Sunil Bhatia conducted an exploratory visit to Ashoka’s campus and invited two of the school’s deans to visit Conn the following year. Ashoka students are currently participating in the Walter Commons Global COVID research project, which began in January 2021 with 45 undergraduate participants. The project brings together Conn student researchers with students from four of the College’s global partners, including Ashoka, Ashesi University in Ghana, Higher School of Economics in Russia and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
The first institution in East Asia to offer women access to higher education, Ewha Womans University in Seoul, is a private research university and holds the honor of being the world’s largest women’s educational institution. In 2007, Ewha established Scranton Honors College, which offers an interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum in English. Through this partnership, Conn students will be able to take classes in this curriculum in addition to Korean language courses.
Along with Dooling, Professor of Economics Yongjin Park was involved in developing the relationship with Ewha beginning in 2016, when he and Dooling traveled to the Ewha campus and met with university officials. Park said that student interest in Korean society and culture has been steadily growing at Conn as the country has become a global economic force, prompting the College to find a partner institution that can provide a top-notch liberal arts education as well as an immersive Korean experience.
“As a Korean and a longtime member of the Study Away Committee, I recommended Ewha University as an ideal choice because it is widely considered the top women’s college in South Korea. With a long tradition in international education, newly built international student dorms and location in the heart of Seoul, it’s a perfect choice for our students,” Park said.
“This program will not only provide a great opportunity for our students to immerse themselves in Korea, but it will also bring many Ewha students—and their unique perspectives and energy—to Connecticut College.”