Thompson Rivers University

Partnership expands TRU’s programs to Europe

January 15, 2014

Groundbreaking signing in internationalization strategy

Pictured (left to right) signing the memorandum of understanding: Dr. Alan Shaver, TRU President and Vice-Chancellor; Dr. Christian Werner, President and CEO of the International University Network; and Baihua Chadwick, TRU World’s Associate Vice-President International, and CEO Global Operations.

Thompson Rivers University has announced the next step in its internationalization strategy—a groundbreaking partnership that will see TRU programs offered in Europe to Canadian students and learners from all over the world.

As a result of extensive collaborations over the past five years, TRU and the International University Network (IUN), which comprises three universities with multiple campuses in Germany and Austria, have jointly developed a new and comprehensive partnership called the International Strategic Network (ISN).

The partnership was formalized today in Kamloops with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by Dr. Christian Werner, President and CEO of the IUN and Dr. Alan Shaver, TRU President and Vice-Chancellor,

“TRU’s academic programs are world-class; this partnership will allow us to eventually offer those programs around the world, starting with the Unna campus,” said Dr. Shaver.

“Not only will this alliance provide more opportunity for international students to engage in a TRU education, most importantly for us, TRU students will have the option to pursue their education in a truly international context. This will advantage them as they move into careers that increasingly require global competencies.”

Process started in 2008

In 2008, TRU signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the University of Applied Management (UAM), one of the IUN’s universities. Joint initiatives and professional collaborations between TRU personnel and German partners at UAM’s Berlin and Unna campuses have since led to the development of today’s comprehensive strategic partnership agreement.

The ISN partnership will leverage the teaching, learning, research, and administrative strengths of both partners in order to offer education without borders across the globe.

“We are so happy to have this collaboration with TRU, a Canadian leader in international education and intercultural experiences,” said Prof. Werner. “Our partnership is based not only on shared values, but also on genuine friendship and a sense of common purpose to transform the lives of students through innovative and global post-secondary programs.”

Four certificates lead-off the partnership agreement

The partnership is the foundation of four new programs commencing this summer on June 2.

“We have developed programs for the World Campus in Unna, and have opened admission to TRU certificate programs in Tourism, Social Media, Global Competency, and Environmental Sustainability,” said Dr. Kathleen Scherf, TRU’s Academic Lead for TRU-ISN programs in Europe.

“It will be our pleasure to open the Unna summer session in June, together with President Werner and President Shaver,” Scherf added.

Related Story: Spend summer in Europe while gaining credit

TRU-ISN partnership has other beneficial developments

In addition to the four summer courses, the TRU-ISN partnership has also led to other beneficial developments

  • A Master of Arts in International Adventure Sport Management at UAM includes study terms in Canada and Germany, and is ready for intake
  • TRU is investigating the possibility of offering a Master of Tourism in Experience Studies, which will also include study terms in Canada and Germany.
  • Quantitative research is currently underway in a shared endeavor between the IUN and the TRU Departments of Psychology. The research involves a cross-cultural study on individual sustainability values, with data being compiled in Germany, Persia, Austria, China, and locally.

Research summit planned for Jan. 17, 2014

On Friday of this week, TRU and its ISN partners will host a research summit towards organizing an international conference on the four components of sustainability at IUN’s World Campus in Unna, Germany.

TRU committed to ongoing collaborations

TRU, a member of the Research Universities Council of BC is committed to ongoing collaborations with ISN to enrich the student experience and advance excellent learning outcomes. This new partnership will bolster TRU’s goals of ongoing engagement in world-class—and worldwide— research.