Bettina Shuford, the associate vice chancellor for student affairs, said an administrator from Hamad bin Khalifa University contacted her in early February about sending representatives to UNC to learn about student affairs.
Shuford led 16 other UNC administrators in their organization of an all-day workshop for the Qatari representatives.
The UNC representatives set up student affairs-related workshops for the delegates. In return, they received a presentation about Hamad bin Khalifa University.
“They indicated that they felt that it was a good visit,” Shuford said.
“They received a lot of resources and felt good about the things we’re doing at UNC. It was good in that I think we learned a lot from them — as much as they learned from us,” she said.
“It was a good exchange both ways.”
UNC has hosted 50 delegations through the global affairs office so far during the 2012-13 academic year.
Bowler said these visits are very wide-ranging and can be from government representatives or university representatives.
UNC is open to having relationships with foreign universities, said Ron Strauss, executive vice provost and chief international officer.
However, he said these visits are very common and are usually simply for informative purposes.
“Generally, these visits are mostly educational — someone being here to learn about how we do things,” he said.
“It isn’t really about building a long-term, permanent relationship.”
UNC has had limited relationships with Middle Eastern delegations in the last year, Bowler said.
She added that most of UNC’s foreign activity has been with delegations from Asia, East Asia, Latin America and Europe.
Bowler said foreign visits have increased in past years as UNC gains global prominence.
“Sometimes it’s just exploratory discussion,” she said.
“Our world ranking continues to rise, and as it does we have more universities looking to us for research collaboration or just learning best practices for higher education.”
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