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Last Thursday and Friday morning, the Congressional Office for International Leadership (COIL), formerly the Open World Leadership Center, hosted a virtual alumni event for Kosovo’s higher education representatives who had previously made exchange visits to the United States. This year’s theme was accreditation.
The program included opening remarks to welcome the alumni, a (virtual) welcome back to New York, brief remarks from New York State Senator Neil D. Breslin, an overview on the U.S.-Kosovo grant partnership on accreditation, updates from five of the program’s Kosovo alumni, a discussion on implementing higher education accreditation, a panel discussion from the New England Commission of Higher Education, and a discussion from the Secretary of Higher Education from the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Representatives from Lehman College, Mercy College, and SUNY Albany participated in the panel discussion on implementing higher education accreditation. Attendees engaged in a mutually beneficial conversation that can serve to strengthen higher education in both the United States and in Kosovo.
The conference was made possible by the efforts of Jane Sargus, Executive Director of COIL; Alexa King, COIL’s program manager; Joel Deen, Program Officer at FHI 360; and Lehman College’s Sheila Gersh, Local Host Organizer, and who formulated the idea for the virtual get-together.
In an increasingly global world, international higher education collaboration on common interests can strengthen outcomes for all of their stakeholders. It can also provide a rich source of innovative thinking that comes from access to a wide range of perspectives.