UC Santa Cruz and University of Sussex officials sign agreements for student and staff exchange programs

By Kate O’Neill 

UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal and University of Sussex Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell sign the administrative staff exchange agreement on May 25. (Photos by Michael Pratt)
UC Santa Cruz and University of Sussex officials at the signing ceremony.
UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal and University of Sussex Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell exchange gifts at a signing ceremony on May 25.

University of Sussex officials visited UC Santa Cruz on May 25 to commemorate the finalization of two exchange agreements between the universities. The agreements, signed in December 2017 and May 2018, outline a student exchange program for Film and Digital Media students and an employee exchange program for administrative staff members.

During the visit, the University of Sussex delegation toured campus and met with faculty and administrators. Officials from UC Santa Cruz and the University of Sussex explored opportunities to deepen the long-standing relationship between the universities. The day culminated with delegates signing an agreement to initiate the administrative staff exchange program.

Adam Tickell, University of Sussex Vice-Chancellor, said the relationship between the universities has been growing since the 1970s. The enduring partnership is strengthened by the likeness that UC Santa Cruz and the University of Sussex share. Both institutions were founded within three years of each other with comparable interdisciplinary principles.

“The opportunities for us both as we both review and rethink what an innovative, exciting, agile university looks like for 2025 and 2030 are immense. We have a number of partnerships, but this is I think the one with the greatest potential because we have such similar institutions,” said Tickell.

The employee exchange program provides professional development opportunities for administrative staff in an international setting. Participants will spend one week shadowing an individual or a programming area of their choosing with the aim of returning to their institution with an expanded knowledge base in their field.

The Division of Global Engagement will manage the selection process for the staff exchange program with the University of Sussex. Each participant’s eligibility is dependent on the availability of professional development funds within the employee’s department.

At the staff exchange agreement signing, UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal said the goal of these programs is to promote growth and facilitate the exchange of ideas between the universities. The development of student exchange agreements serves a similar purpose while providing students an opportunity to learn in an international setting.

In December, UC Santa Cruz and University of Sussex officials signed an agreement to initiate an exchange program for Film and Digital Media undergraduate students. The program provides the opportunity for up to five students per academic year to study abroad for a timeframe of anywhere between one quarter to one year. Participants will enroll in classes that align with their academic interests while gaining a global perspective in their field.

The exchange program is an excellent opportunity for Film and Digital Media students looking for a cost-effective and major-oriented global experience. The Film and Digital Media department have preapproved University of Sussex courses that transfer to the major. Therefore, undergraduate students can tailor their class schedule to meet their interests within the University of Sussex’s School of Media, Film, and Music while meeting their UC Santa Cruz major requirements.

In fall 2018, the first student from UC Santa Cruz will participate in the exchange program at the University of Sussex. Students interested in participating in this cost-effective new study abroad opportunity can apply through the Division of Global Engagement’s Study Abroad office.

George Blumenthal, UC Santa Cruz Chancellor, elaborated on the benefit of exchange programs on the student experience, “The world is an increasingly global environment, and our ability to work together across boundaries to learn from each other and establish for our students this ability to work across boundaries is so important.”

The agreements established by UC Santa Cruz and our partners across the globe set a standard for international collaboration for UC campuses and our peer institutions. The Division of Global Engagement, the administrative unit that oversees the international agreements, strives to facilitate the exchange of people, ideas, and knowledge to support and promote the globalization of teaching, learning, and research at UC Santa Cruz.

Exchanges such as those with the University of Sussex positively contribute to the student and employee experience at UC Santa Cruz by providing opportunities to facilitate learning in a global setting. In today’s global business world, international experience is integral to professional success. Through the facilitation of exchange programs, the Division of Global Engagement is promoting the growth of students, employees, and the university for success in future endeavors.

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