The University of Nevada, Reno, has officially solidified a partnership with Korea National University of Education through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This agreement establishes an enriching exchange program designed to foster collaboration among teacher preparation students and faculty from both institutions.
In August 2023, President Kim Jongwoo and Provost Kapseong Kim of the Korea National University of Education visited the University of Nevada, Reno, where they engaged in discussions with the University leadership, Provost Jeff Thompson and President Brian Sandoval to formalize the MOU. The South Korean delegates' visit included a tour of the University's educational facilities, as well as local school visits to the University's Child and Family Research Center, the Dorothy Lemelson S.T.E.M. Academy Elementary School and Galena High School.
"This is the first of what we hope to be many global collaborations that our college engages in," Eleni Oikonomidoy, associate dean of the College of Education & Human Development, said. "We believe that opportunities like this expand our and our students' horizons as we engage with, share and learn from others."
Dean Donald Easton-Brooks, Associate Dean Eleni Oikonomidoy and Professor Hyun-Joo Jeon from the College of Education & Human Development recently visited the Korea National University of Education to meet with administration and faculty, as well as tour local schools.
The exchange program is set to commence in January 2024, with ten South Korean teacher preparation students visiting the University of Nevada, Reno. This educational and cultural exchange encompasses lectures by University faculty and visits to schools in the Reno-Sparks area. The primary objective is to provide a global learning experience and foster a meaningful exchange of ideas. This exchange is beneficial for students interested in global perspectives in education.
"Our world is interconnected and constantly changing," Oikonomidoy said. "The disciplines of Education, Human Development and Family Science, and Counseling must continually be reinvented to respond to the challenges and the opportunities of the new conditions. Global partnerships, like the one with KNUE, provide one pathway to collaborative engagement, critical reflection and collective growth."
In the future, the exchange will include the University's teacher preparation students reciprocating the visit to South Korea, along with faculty engaged in research, reinforcing the global reach of the program.
"The partnership is a huge opportunity for the faculty and students in the College of Education & Human Development, as we expand our knowledge of learning and developing to include a larger cultural lens," Dean Easton-Brooks said.
It is crucial for future educators to understand diverse cultures and teaching methodologies. This aligns with the College's mission to prepare globally aware teachers and human development professionals, with international exchanges playing an increasingly pivotal role.
"The comparative analysis that is being triggered by student and faculty exchanges like this one is much needed in our globalized world," Oikonomidoy said. "In the College of Education & Human Development, we aim to nurture global citizens who are not only aware of the lives of others, but are also willing to act on behalf of others while promoting global peace, social justice and equity."