EDUCAUSE works to increase understanding of the ways technology advances the mission of higher education. While we are an association predominantly based in the United States, we recognize that "uncommon thinking for the common good" can emerge anywhere in the world. Therefore, we invite institutions of higher education and similarly focused organizations in other countries to join our community as EDUCAUSE members.
By committing to international engagement, EDUCAUSE and its members know that they benefit from a richness of knowledge sharing and collaboration that would otherwise be unattainable. For example, the ongoing dialogue EDUCAUSE maintains with sister organizations such as the Council of Australasian University Directors of IT (CAUDIT), the SURFfoundation of the Netherlands, the Canadian University Council of CIOs (CUCCIO), and the United Kingdom's Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), among others, facilitates shared analysis and understanding of major IT trends and issues confronting higher education globally (see the joint white paper "The Future of Higher Education: Beyond the Campus"). As an increasing number of colleges and universities in all countries engage internationally, whether through adding overseas campuses, offering online programs, or simply expanding the exchange of scholars and students, these worldwide relationships increase the value and effectiveness of higher education wherever it takes place.
EDUCAUSE is proud to count over 242 non-U.S. institutions among its members. We are equally proud that their participation extends to the leadership of the EDUCAUSE community, including, for example, the chair of the EDUCAUSE Board of Directors in 2010, the appointment of an international board member later in 2010, and representation on the EDUCAUSE 2012 Program Committee. We look forward to increasing our international engagement even further, knowing that it will strengthen the knowledge and perspectives our members can access through conference presentations, online events, articles, research, contributions to the EDUCAUSE Resource Center, and most importantly, through direct dialogue with peers regardless of location.
Examples of International Engagement
In addition to the projects and activities cited above, EDUCAUSE works in a variety of ways with international organizations interested in IT in higher education. Examples include:
A number of international institutions and organizations have participated for many years in the EDUCAUSE Core Data Service, a comprehensive benchmarking project on institutional IT environments and practices. For example, CAUDIT has consistently worked with EDUCAUSE to facilitate CDS participation by Australian and New Zealand institutions. It has acted as a coordinating agent to ensure that its members correctly and consistently interpret and translate the CDS data definitions and that a standard exchange rate is used each year to ensure data consistency.
Likewise, representatives from Universia (a network of nearly 1,200 Latin American and Spanish higher education institutions), CAUDIT, and CUCCIO served on the working group for the 2010–11 redesign of CDS. Their participation led to the development of an international module for the survey and a resulting data service that makes CDS more relevant to international members while also broadening the opportunity for U.S. members to establish meaningful benchmarks with international institutions.
In 1998, CAUDIT created an institute in Australia that was modeled on a hybrid of the EDUCAUSE Leadership and Management Institutes (professional development programs for senior and midlevel higher education IT administrators). Since its inception, the CAUDIT-EDUCAUSE Institute faculty has included two individuals from the EDUCAUSE Institute programs. This interaction has allowed faculty from the CAUDIT and EDUCAUSE programs to exchange ideas and share experiences on new curriculum developments and practices, supporting the evolution and continuous improvement of both institutes.
EDUCAUSE regularly consults with peers in other countries who are interested in developing higher education IT organizations in their countries or regions. Since EDUCAUSE events and activities are primarily focused in the United States, it does not view such organizations as current or potential competitors, nor does it seek to establish competing events or chapters in those countries. Rather, EDUCAUSE views such engagements as opportunities to help advance the role of IT in higher education around the world while adding to the knowledge base and professional network from which EDUCAUSE members draw.
EDUCAUSE work in this area has included direct dialogue with a then-developing group of higher education IT leaders in Japan about plans for forming a national association similar to EDUCAUSE. In support of their efforts, staff as well as members of the EDUCAUSE Board of Directors presented at planning forums and conducted institutional outreach visits in Japan, as well as met with Japanese delegations at multiple EDUCAUSE annual conferences. This contributed to the launch of a national Japanese higher education IT association, AXIES, in 2011. EDUCAUSE similarly engaged with representatives of the Thailand Cyber University Project and Universia Columbia to facilitate the recruitment of EDUCAUSE community leaders to present at outreach events in their countries.