The UW-NU Partnership advances the Wisconsin Idea—the principle that the university should improve people’s lives beyond the classroom—in a global context and in innovative ways, especially highlighting the university’s Central Eurasian expertise. The partnership enables UW–Madison to share its academic culture and norms, build peer-to-peer professional relationships that support civil society in the post-Soviet region, and cultivate Wisconsin relationships in an economically dynamic country. Additional benefits of the UW-NU Partnership include:
Building Institutional Capacity
The UW–Madison team has been engaged in the unique experience of conceptualizing and designing new programs at NU. Team members have worked on timely issues of university governance, including curricular design, teaching and learning pedagogy, the role of co-curricular activities in supporting academic excellence, the design of governance structures, fostering interdisciplinary synergies, and data management.
Supporting Language and Area Studies
The UW-NU Partnership directly involves UW–Madison’s area and international studies faculty and staff who work on Central Eurasia. UW–Madison is a national leader in area studies, and its Center for Russia, East Europe and Central Asia (CREECA) has more faculty working on the region than any other such center in North America. The UW-NU Partnership has supported faculty, students, and staff working on the region, as well as CREECA, the Language Institute, the UW Library, and other units engaged in providing expertise for this partnership.
Serving as a Laboratory for Global Higher Education
The UW-NU Partnership serves as a laboratory where UW–Madison faculty, academic staff, and graduate students with interests in global higher education can address real challenges and explore innovative strategies in a variety of key areas, including quality assurance, the development of terminal master’s degrees, development of online courses, improved language pedagogy, development of multilingual learning environments, and library development.
Providing Opportunities for UW–Madison Students
The UW-NU Partnership offers students in Russian and Kazakh language programs opportunities to practice their language skills through formal translation and interpretation work and through classroom interaction with NU visitors and instructors. Through the groundwork that the partnership has laid, UW–Madison students have access to study abroad, internship, teaching, and research opportunities at NU, as well as collaborations on co-curricular activities with NU students and interactions with visiting NU students.
Providing Opportunities for UW–Madison Faculty and Staff
Opportunities for faculty and staff who work on international and area studies—including Kazakhstan and Central Asia, comparative religion, and global higher education—might include research, consulting, visiting scholars, professional networking, and academic workshops and conferences.