SUU administrator participates in prestigious Fulbright Program
By Nikki Koontz
SUU Marketing Communication
CEDAR CITY—For three weeks in October, Dr. Stephen Allen, associate provost for International Affairs at Southern Utah University, traveled to Germany as a part of the German-American Fulbright Program.
Administrators from 12 schools all over the United States with experience in international education are selected each year to travel to Berlin for a comprehensive introduction to the German higher education system and to foster international relationships among institutions of higher learning. This year, the competitive program accepted individuals from schools such as Harvard, Boston College, the University of North Carolina, and SUU.
As a part of the program, the group was assigned to various German Universities for several days before reconvening to discuss their experiences. Allen was sent to Heidelberg University, Germany’s oldest University established in 1386 and a top 100 university in the world. While at Heidelberg, Allen was able to establish an agreement that will allow SUU graduates to pursue a Masters or Ph.D. in American Studies (in English) tuition free at Heidelberg University. In addition, SUU students will be provided hard-to-get campus housing at reduced rates.
Allen was deeply impressed with the practices of the German higher education system.
“The German system provides tremendous access to higher education and apprenticeships for young people,” Allen said. “Tuition is free and entrance to German Universities is reasonable. Completion rates are very high.”
The Fulbright program allows administrators to be exposed not only to the education system but to the German culture as they explore cities and universities all over Germany. Allen noted in particular that he was impressed with how Germany treated refugees, many of whom are well educated and are provided German language training and access to college or apprenticeships at no charge as long as they meet admission requirements. Health care and other services are also provided to refugees.
“The experience provided me with a much greater understanding of the German culture and its educational system,” Allen said. “During my time in Germany, I was able to spend a significant amount of time with officials from over 10 universities. The opportunities to network and explore meaningful ways to partner together was invaluable for me. My understanding of the Fulbright organization will allow me to inform, advise, and educate SUU students, faculty and staff about opportunities with Fulbright.”
Many educational opportunities for students at SUU come as a result of administrators who are actively engaged in broadening their own perspectives on education and increasing opportunities for students to be exposed to different cultures and perspectives.