Helfgott of the University of Washington Participating in the U S ASEAN University Connections Initiative as a Fellow

Helfgott of the University of Washington Participating in the U S ASEAN University Connections Initiative as a Fellow

Vice Provost for Global Engagement Isadora Helfgott of the University of Wyoming has been selected as a fellow in the United States-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) University Connections Initiative (UCI).

The United States-ASEAN Special Summit in May 2022 was the setting for the White House to announce UCI. The U.S. Department of State oversees this initiative under the name Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students (IDEAS), with the goal of enhancing the ability of American higher education institutions to develop international partnerships and offer study abroad opportunities consistent with national priorities.

To promote long-term international academic partnerships and the two-way exchange of students, scholars, and researchers between U.S. and Southeast Asian higher education institutions, the initiative will bring together 50 leaders from diverse colleges and universities in the United States and eight ASEAN member countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam.

“I’m thrilled to receive this fellowship because it gives me the chance to work on behalf of UW with colleagues from higher education institutions in the ASEAN region and with colleagues from U.S. universities who are actively seeking to increase engagement with the ASEAN region,” Helfgott says. It’s a rare opportunity for me to find out how I can aid in the development of opportunities for UW faculty and students in the area, whether that be through the introduction of new study-abroad courses, the establishment of new research collaborations, the recruitment of new student groups, or the creation of joint grant proposals.

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According to Helfgott, this programme will introduce UW to numerous prospective business partners in the ASEAN region.

When asked about the strengths and areas of excellence at the University of Wyoming, she says, “Not a lot of universities in these countries know about Wyoming and our university.” The programme is supposed to open doors for international exchange amongst students and teachers. I’m also hoping we can raise UW’s profile in those areas to attract talented international students to our degree programmes.

AIEA is assisting in the rollout of UCI.

Daniel Harrison

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