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New Partnerships Expand University’s International Reach

Compostela Membership, EMUNI Agreement Broaden Options

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UMass Lowell continues to grow opportunities for international study and research with new partnerships.

By Jill Gambon

UMass Lowell has expanded its global reach with two new partnerships that will broaden its international offerings.

The University was recently accepted into the Compostela Group of Universities, a network of more than 70 mostly European universities that aims to foster cooperation and enable collaboration among its members. With its admission into the group, UMass Lowell becomes one of only three universities in the United States to gain membership. And later this month, the University will continue to further its international reach when it signs an agreement with Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI University), to foster cooperation in research and student and faculty exchanges.

“These international partnerships will continue to strengthen the quality of the education that we offer and enrich our understanding of other countries and cultures,” says UMass Lowell Provost Ahmed Abdelal. “They will also expand research opportunities for our faculty and provide access to global resources.”

The Compostela Group voted to accept UMass Lowell as a member last month at a meeting of its general assembly in Braga, Portugal. Membership is expected to provide UMass Lowell students with more opportunities for international learning through team teaching by University faculty and Compostela Group members. It will also foster the development of partnerships in scholarship, research, economic development and public diplomacy.

“To be a member of the Compostela Group is very prestigious.  It opens up a vast network of university connections for faculty and students,” says Special Assistant to the Provost for Academic Initiatives Mary Robbins. 

Euro-Mediterranean University
Based in Portoroz, Slovenia, EMUNI University was established by the European Union to facilitate collaborative postgraduate research and academic work. It is now an international network of more than 170 universities, focusing on such issues as alternative energy, de-pollution of the Mediterranean Sea, higher education research and business development. 

“By nurturing academic collaborations around the world, we increase the chances that we will innovate more efficiently and more effectively,” says Abdelal. “These partnerships will also enhance our economic development efforts.” 

The number of international partnerships has been on the rise as the University seeks to expand opportunities for collaboration with institutions around the globe. UMass Lowell has academic partnerships with more than 60 universities in 25 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, North America and Australia. 

On campus, UMass Lowell’s international student community has been growing, with students from more than 50 countries represented. In addition, the World Association for Cooperative Education, a 2,000-member organization that supports experiential learning programs across the globe,   recently moved its headquarters to the UMass Lowell campus.