Last July, SOE Professor K.B. Melear and several students in the Comparative Higher Education course (EDHE 657) traveled to London, England, for two weeks to study the higher education system and public policy issues facing the United Kingdom.
The Comparative Higher Education course was developed in 2005 and is conducted annually during the summer, typically in July. Students are immersed in comparative higher education systems in either England or South Africa.
“I would highly recommend participating in a study abroad course,” said Kimberly Willis, SOE graduate student. “I’ve always heard that the best way to learn about another culture is to immerse oneself into that culture. Having participated in EDHE657, I have a complete understanding of what that means. You will definitely have a new perspective on a culture other than the one you know.”
Melear notes the graduate class is designed to enable students to “identify, analyze and synthesize” key dimensions of international systems of higher education. The historical and cultural foundations of international systems are examined, as well as crucial issues such as funding, governance structure and student life. Other phenomena, such as globalization and technological advances are explored, as well as the impact of international and national policy and politics on higher education abroad and in the United States.
“Study Abroad was more than just taking a class—it was an experience,” said Patricia Coats,” SOE graduate student. “It gave me the opportunity to see other parts of the world and discover more about myself as I experienced new cultures in a way that I otherwise may not have been able to. I walked away with a new respect for different cultures, customs, traditions and made many friends along the way. I would highly recommend anyone take a study abroad class if given the opportunity.”