For the last two weeks, the VT Global Perspectives Program (GPP) participants (@GPPVT, #gpp14) have been actively engaged in visits to selected universities in Switzerland, Italy and France. The theme for these visits was the “future of higher education: preparing for change”. Toward the end of our trip, we were joined by our GPP University of Basel colleagues at VT Center for European Studies and Architecture (CESA) in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland for a global seminar. Lively discussions and conversations ensued.
Before and during the travel part of GPP, we gather information – “facts and figures”. We talk with academic administrators, faculty and students. We tour the universities – meeting rooms, buildings and “labs”. We compare and contrast and more. We seek answers to our questions.
Throughout, there were some ah-ha moments, some quiet reflections and musings, shared commentary and most importantly some deep dives into the “head-spinning” information and perspectives which were shared with us. More questions and lots of them with no clear answers. This is good because this is when we are moved out of our comfort zones and well understood contexts into a space where we become more open to hearing, seeing and perhaps understanding things differently and from another’s perspective. And this is one of the intended consequences of the Global Perspectives Program – actively seeking and gaining perspective.