COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland has expanded its global footprint, joining the leading international network of research universities, Universitas 21 (U21). UMD is one of only four U.S. universities in the network.
With 27 institutions in 17 countries, U21 members collaborate to develop research partnerships and exchanges for students, faculty and staff. So far, more than 20,000 students within the U21 network have taken advantage of study abroad exchanges. The network has an annual research income in excess of $6.5 billion.
"We want to graduate global citizens – young adults with an international sensibility who can operate on the world stage – and U21 will help us realize this goal," says University of Maryland President Wallace Loh. "High-impact partnerships and networking are essential for major research institutions like ours. I am delighted to be part of this very prestigious alliance."
U21 will significantly increase Maryland students' access to study abroad exchanges, enabling them to spend a semester at some of the world's greatest universities for the price of in-state tuition. The network's undergraduate research conferences will enable the brightest students to present their results on a global stage. Also, students can attend summer schools built around a specific theme each year, as well as participate in study abroad programs centered on social entrepreneurship.
Graduate students will find research opportunities, as well as a venue to present their work to international peers, making them that much more competitive in the increasingly global marketplace. Through U21, faculty can engage in joint research and joint teaching, using online technology to bring students from around the world into virtual "global classrooms."
"International education is undergoing fundamental change, and U21 will help keep us at the forefront," says UMD's Associate Vice President for International Affairs Ross Lewin. "In our increasingly interconnected world, bilateral relationships are no longer adequate. Multilateral programs with institutions from many countries gives everyone in the network a much greater reach. Membership in U21 will allow UMD to connect with many of the best universities in the world at once. It will advance our mission of bringing the world to the campus and projecting the University on to the world stage."
In July, the first delegation of UMD students and faculty will participate in the U21 Undergraduate Research Conference on Urban Challenges at the University of Amsterdam. Honors students majoring in international development, mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering will share the results of their undergraduate research projects with peers from around the world. These will include work on water management, aquaponics and the harnessing of artificial wind energy.
A second group of UMD students and a faculty member will spend two weeks with leading human rights scholars from around the world at the U21 International Summer School on Human Rights at the University of Connecticut. Participants will get hands-on experience with local human rights agencies.
June 20, 2013