Linkage Project and Working Group to Join Forces for US-Russia Joint/Dual Degree Conference

This week Bard College and the SUNY Global Center will welcome more than 50 higher education experts from Russia and the US, who will gather to examine existing joint-degree programs for the first time.  The US-Russia Joint/Dual Degree Conference will showcase nearly 30 leading institutions that have established such partnerships, and will also welcome universities exploring such relationships and eager to study the experience of these pioneering programs.
The conference is the result of a year-long joint linkage project awarded by Eurasia Foundation’s US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE) to Bard and the Center of Liberal Arts at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, St. Petersburg State University (Smolny College).  Led by Jonathan Becker, Bard’s Vice President and Dean for International Affairs and Civic Engagement and a member of SEE’s Steering Committee and Higher Education Working Group, and Valery Monakhov, Smolny’s Director of the Center of Liberal Education, the colleges draw on their own seventeen-year history of partnerships to offer a forum for deans, rectors, and international studies coordinators from other institutions to present a candid view of their successes and the challenges they face.
Over three days in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, and New York City, participants will discuss joint and dual degree curricula, international administration, program structure, faculty selection, and language of instruction, among other topics, during workshops, roundtables, and panels. Special attention will be placed on lessons learned from existing programs. The conference will conclude with recommendations for governments, institutions, faculty, and students.
SEE’s Higher Education Working Group will give the final presentation on Saturday, February 1. Carter Johnson, the group’s co-chair, will be joined by Jonathan Becker, as well as by Elena Abrosimova and Mark Johnson, two of the group’s Advanced Practitioner Fellows, to discuss their experiences with bilateral collaboration, as well as the group’s achievements and future goals. 
The concrete result of the project will be the publication of a step-by-step manual on the creation of a joint US-Russia joint degree program, reflecting the accumulated experience of these partnerships.  The manual is slated for release later in 2014.