UW-Parkside hosts Australian Consul-General
By Kelly Creech
In UW-Parkside's continuing efforts to create and foster international ties, the Australian Consul-General to Chicago, Roger Price, and an Australian delegation visited UW-Parkside Monday, Jan. 23. They were greeted by Chancellor Debbie Ford, Deans Fred Ebeid and Dean Yohnk, Associate Dean Jeff Alexander, and Drs. Carmel Ruffolo and Jonathan Olsen.
The purpose of the delegation's visit was to establish a relationship with UW-Parkside, to learn about our institution, our programs, and our global activities. The Consul General was briefed on the new campus initiatives such as the dividing of the College of Arts and Sciences into the College of Natural and Health Science and the College of Arts and Humanities, and the upcoming grand opening of the Rita Talent Picken Center for Regional Center for Arts and Humanities. The discussion also included the activities and challenges for UW-Parkside in creating new short and long term exchange programs for both students and faculty.
Chancellor Ford was there to answer questions regarding the university and its ties to the UW System as well as the Kenosha community. In particular, Chancellor Ford discussed UW-Parkside's commitment to the "Wisconsin Idea" to make sure that higher education is available in every home and every area of the state. UW-Parkside is proud to live up to this ideal, as over 60 percent of its student body is first generation college students.
Overall, UW Parkside representatives expressed a great interest in expanding international connections with Australia. Australia has no language barriers for our students, they are currently the fastest growing economy (based on OECD findings), and the universities offer a full range of transferable courses.The Australian delegation responded favorably to collaboration and talked about the University of Western Sydney, which appears to have similar student demographics to UW-Parkside, as a possible Australian university to initiate exchange program activities. Open dialogue between UW-Parkside and the Australian Consulate General will continue.