By RENEE WEBB, Globe editor
According to William Mangan, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs at the university, the agreement will enable Briar Cliff students to have the opportunity to take courses at the Catholic University of Korea and participate in cultural exchanges.
“We also hope that our students will benefit from hosting Korean students on our campus, so that even those who do not travel to Korea can still have an experience that broadens them culturally,” he said.
As a Catholic educator, he said he was especially pleased that this agreement allows Briar Cliff to partner with another Catholic institution in a way that underscores the universality of the Catholic faith.
Bev Wharton, president of Briar Cliff University, said this relationship with the Catholic University of Korea will provide Briar Cliff University students another opportunity to experience the world beyond Sioux City.
“We are very pleased to enter into this agreement with the Catholic University of Korea,” she said. “Our Vision 2020, to be the Catholic, Franciscan place that defines innovation for learning, working and living, calls for a greater understanding of our global society. By partnering with a Catholic University with significant global connections we move toward our vision from the Catholic and global perspective.”
Dr. Mangan said that most Briar Cliff students who participate in exchanges between the institutions will enroll in courses at the Catholic University of Korea, although a student could simply visit the Catholic University of Korea for some other events or activities.
An agreement of cooperation, he explained, formalizes a relationship between two institutions of higher learning. It outlines some possible areas of collaboration between the institutions.
“In the case of this agreement, Briar Cliff will partner with the Catholic University of Korea to encourage exchanges of students and faculty members between our institutions, to share opportunities for research and other scholarly activities and to explore other activities that may strengthen our institutional relationship,” Dr. Mangan said.
To his knowledge, this is the first formal agreement of cooperation that Briar Cliff has developed with an institution of higher learning from a different country.
“As with any new agreement, we will learn from this relationship and look for other opportunities to enhance the learning experience for Briar Cliff University students,” said Wharton.
Dr. Mangan said he hoped this agreement with the Catholic University of Korea will serve as a model for future agreements between Briar Cliff and other Catholic institutions throughout the world.
And while the official agreement was only recently signed between the two Catholic universities, cooperation began this past summer when two Briar Cliff students, Nathan Kirsch and Grace McElroy, participated in a summer program in Korea.
“We know there will be wonderful opportunities for our students - we only need to listen to Grace and Nathan talk about their experiences,” Wharton said.
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