Fairleigh Dickinson University is a center of academic excellence dedicated to the preparation of world citizens through global education. The University strives to provide students with the multidisciplinary, intercultural and ethical understandings necessary to participate, lead and prosper in the global marketplace of ideas, commerce and culture.
Rationale for a Global Education
Global education is a learning paradigm that promotes the awareness and application of global issues and interdependencies in the teaching of every discipline, as well as across disciplines. Global education thus calls for knowledge acquisition, critical thinking and problem-solving through which students can extend their own views and knowledge bases upon a foundation of global perspectives and understandings. Outcomes of a global education include the capacity of students to examine their roles in the global community, to develop a greater synthetic understanding of what is universal to and differentiating among peoples and societies, and to use this knowledge to inform their actions as global citizens.
Global education continues to do what higher education has traditionally aimed to do: extend students' awareness of the world they live in by opening them to the heritage of human thought, action and creativity, and their capacity to read, write, and think. Global education responds to changes in this world pointed to by the word "globalization." For global education, this means not a revolution, but shifts in emphasis and method.
Global education places a different emphasis on the capacities and attitudes higher education has always sought to develop in students. The communication age calls more than ever for the skills of reading, interpretation, writing, visual literacy, and critical thinking traditionally taught in higher education. The production of information on a scale unlike anything ever witnessed before makes techniques for economic access to information, and for its handling, interpretation, and use, more indispensable than ever. The accelerating interactions within and among communities, cultures and beliefs systems in today's communication order makes the capacity to recognize, understand, and respond to a variety of perspectives on human experience a quality indispensable to the educated college graduate. Global education will, therefore, place a new emphasis on the diversities and commonalities of human experience through space and time, and on the methods, from interactive and cooperative learning on one hand to education by personal initiative on the other, that will equip students for new kinds of jobs and for their tasks and responsibilities as members of society.
From courses in the natural sciences to courses in the social sciences and the arts and humanities, the traditional curriculum will continue to provide much of the knowledge basic to these issues, including a strong knowledge of the heritage of the West and of the United States in particular. If the new technological age threatens familiar notions of human dignity, one task of global education might be correspondingly a new humanism. In general, some material taught now will inevitably be reoriented in the light of the shift in emphasis required by the idea of the global as the widest context of the mission of higher education. Further, global education clearly entails new curriculum development and organization if it is to carry out a mission differentiated from that of traditional higher education. The constraints of subject (or major)-dominated education on our capacity to think about a world in which borders are fading in every area of life and therefore on our capacity to act in this world does not erase the value of knowledge in depth in areas of study, but it does entail a considerably stronger emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, for example through courses defined in terms of problems or issues to which several disciplines can contribute.
The specific expectations for global education at FDU can be related to the following general goals of a global education curriculum:
- To integrate global education into the teaching of all disciplines
- To teach students how to access, interpret, evaluate, and make responsible use of information and communications technology
- To teach students to develop critical-thinking skills appropriate to the information age and to the increasing pressures for intercultural understanding, negotiation, and problem-solving
- To graduate students who are employable in the new markets for labor, that is, not only skilled for their first jobs but for a lifetime of learning and career changes
- To graduate students with a strong sense of the ethical implications of globalization
A Tradition of Leadership
- Fairleigh Dickinson University's founder, Peter Sammartino, co-founded the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP) -- now numbering 700 presidents from 100 different countries. Recently, Fairleigh Dickinson University was designated the historical archives site for the IAUP and President J. Michael Adams was named to the group's executive board.
- Fairleigh Dickinson University became the first U.S. university to own an overseas campus when Wroxton College opened in England in 1965.
- Fairleigh Dickinson has been associated with the United Nations since its inception (1945) and documents a five-decades-long path between our campuses and U.N. headquarters. In 2002 the University established the U.N. Pathways Lecture Series in which ambassadors regularly present programs at FDU. Also, Fairleigh Dickinson University is one of just four universities in the country to earn designation as a nongovernmental organization (NGO) associated with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations.
- Fairleigh Dickinson University has a 62-year history of international student enrollment, including today nearly 900 from more than 70 different countries studying at our New Jersey campuses.
- The University has established study abroad programs and partnerships with institutions in Taiwan, Japan, India, Spain, China, Turkey, Poland, and Switzerland, to name only a few places. And we've been linked to South Korea since 1962.
- For more than 60 years, we've hired world-class faculty — and our faculty continue to have a global impact. Five typical examples (this list rotates over time because there are so many individuals to cite):
- In collaboration with Spanish chemists, Ray Baylouny has been doing significant research at the University of Barcelona involving molecular modeling.
- Since 1996, Leonard Grob has organized The Pastora Goldner Holocaust Symposium, a biennial event held at Wroxton College featuring international Holocaust scholars who commit to follow-up collaborations and study projects.
- Riad Nasser, an Israeli citizen of Palestinian descent, has worked to promote understanding between Israelis and Arabs, and is studying how the history curricula in Israel shape the national identity of Israel's Palestinian citizens.
- "Bamidele Ojo, a native of Nigeria, is the author of Human Rights and the New World Order: The Question of Universality, Acceptability and Human Diversity, and editor of several volumes on African politics, including Contemporary African Politics: A Comparative Study of Political Transition to Democratic Legitimacy and Nigeria's Third Republic: Problems and Prospects of Political Transition to Civil Rule. Ojo was selected as a Fulbright Scholar in research and teaching for the 2001-2002 and advises the government of Nigeria on matters such as education, ethics, and labor relations."
- Each summer at Wroxton College, Charles Schaefer coordinates an international play therapy study group, featuring child therapists from around the world.
- A central part of the distance-learning program is the Global Virtual Faculty, scholars and practitioners from around the world, who partner with our FDU faculty to bring diverse perspectives to our students.
- The Global Scholars program brings together a diverse group of students for academic, residential and co-curricular activities with global themes.
- The University's curricula infuse global perspectives, and full degree programs focus on global themes. For example, we offer an MBA in Management with concentration in International Business. Also, our core curriculum is nationally recognized and distinguished for incorporating global perspectives.
- Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the world's premier gourmet society, is relocating its U.S. headquarters to the Florham Campus. The group helped fund a new building that houses its headquarters and the University's School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management.
- For about a half-century, Fairleigh Dickinson University has published The Literary Review, translating creative writing from different cultures and countries — more than 16,000 pages of global text.