UC’s Global Campus Charts a Course for the Next 50 Years DATE: 1/30/2012
UC Education Abroad Program continues to advocate for international education, expanding access to study abroad opportunities while addressing new challenges.
Santa Barbara, CA – The University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) presented insights gained during its half-century as UC’s “global campus” and outlined plans for ensuring the program’s continued success at a meeting of the University of California Board of Regents meeting held on January 18, 2012 at UC Riverside.
Speaking before the Regents on behalf of UCEAP, Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director Jean-Xavier Guinard remarked on how, from its modest beginnings in 1962, UCEAP has grown to become a “flagship academic program for UC and a national leader in international education.” While the program’s 50th anniversary is a major event for UCEAP, Guinard emphasized that the celebration isn’t merely a reminiscence of the past. UCEAP is envisioning the 50th anniversary to be a catalyst and focal point to raise awareness of the program’s benefits and to develop strategies for how best to leverage the program’s five decades of success to address new challenges and opportunities for international education in the future.
Highlighted for the Regents were ongoing challenges for study abroad programs, such as recent fee hikes and the likelihood of further tuition increases. “Cost remains one of the main obstacles to study abroad, and continued fee increases compel students to reconsider their study abroad options,” Guinard said. “We are committed to reducing program option fees, increasing scholarship support and achieving administrative efficiencies, as well as to offering a more diverse set of programs that meet UC student needs and interests.”
Backed by 50 years of UCEAP success and a base of more than 100,000 alumni, Guinard outlined a range of strategies to maintain and expand UC students’ access to international education. The Regents were asked for their continued advocacy for study abroad as the centerpiece of a global undergraduate education and for their continued support and promotion of UCEAP and its initiatives on the campuses. UCEAP’s new strategic plan includes academic program development, generous scholarships, alumni engagement, academic integration, and expanded marketing and recruitment initiatives both at UC and around the world.
As UCEAP plans its next 50 years of growth, the program continues to emphasize the significance and enduring value of a study abroad experience to a student’s education, career, and future life. “Only 20% of UC students have a study abroad experience as part of their undergraduate education,” said Guinard. “That leaves 80% who do not and could, which means there is much room for UCEAP to grow.”