The Global Perspectives Program was developed in 2005 by the Virginia Tech Graduate Dean Karen P. DePauw and offered through Virginia Tech’s educational facility (CESA) in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland. The Global Perspectives Program (GPP) stands as an example of a program through which VT graduate students can participate in study abroad and study-at-home (GRAD 5104 and GRAD 5114) portions in preparation as future faculty and global citizens. This program is an integral part of the Transformative Graduate Education (TGE) initiative offered through the VT Graduate School.
The purpose of Global Perspectives Program (GPP) is to inform graduate students as future faculty members with a global perspective of higher education. During the trip, participants gather first hand knowledge about global higher education through our (a) visits to selected European universities, (b) discussions with faculty, administrators, and students, and (c) dialogue among the group members.
The Global Perspectives Program enables graduate students to examine differences in academic practices and to develop innovative and effective approaches that foster international awareness and education. This program provides a firsthand experience that helps each participant acknowledge differences around the world and embrace a perspective beyond one’s own country of origin. Through the PFP Global Perspectives experience, participants enhance their knowledge and understanding of global higher education, gain a cultural understanding of higher education diverse contexts, engage with new colleagues across academic disciplines, and grow personally and professionally through shared experiences.
The current GPP program has expanded since its development and includes several additional components. The original program (GPP Switzerland) consisted of the VT trip to selected universities in Switzerland, visit to Politecnico d’ Milano, cultural visits and seminars at VT’s Center for European Studies and Architecture (CESA). In 2010, a partnership was developed with the University of Basel (UniBasel) which strengthened the connections and visits to the University of Basel and expanded the university visits to those in the upper Rhine region. The UniBasel program was initiated and included participation in the global seminar at CESA, visits to U.S. universities and a VT-UniBasel global summit at the Swiss Embassy in Washington DC.
In 2012 two additional programs were developed. A week long program in January in Chile provided the opportunity to expand the Switzerland Global Perspectives Program. The purpose of Global Perspectives Chile remained the same – to prepare future faculty members with a global perspective of higher education.
Due to interest in the VT Global Perspectives Program by U.S. Graduate School Deans, VT organized a Graduate Deans Global Perspectives experience for July 2012 under the leadership of VT Graduate Dean Karen P. DePauw. Eleven graduate deans participated in the week long program starting in Paris and traveling to Lugano. Several university visits were scheduled and the experience ended in seminar with GPP alumni from VT and UniBasel at CESA. Please click here for more information.
This Global Perspectives blog collects information from three main sources: GPP Switzerland, PFP Chile, and Graduate Deans experience as well as from individual bloggers who feed into global perspectives or the programs above. Please join us in conversations about global higher education.