Dalhousie has signed a partnership with one of Chile’s top universities to offer training in the development and delivery of English-language courses to Engineering faculty there.
Signed in September, the partnership with the University of Santiago de Chile (USACH) centres around Dal’s professional development certificate in English as a Medium of Instruction and is aimed at helping the university improve its engineering education and quality of teaching and learning in the faculty. It will also help attract more international Engineering students.
“We developed this certificate because it combines language plus pedagogical and methodological professional development for educators,” says Jennifer MacDonald, head teacher with English-as-a-second language (ESL) programs in Dal’s College of Continuing Education.
Rather than just translating power points, textbooks and other materials, the four-module course guides faculty in introducing a whole host of changes to how materials are presented in order to ensure that leaning objectives are still met, given that English is not necessarily either the professor or the students’ first language.
The certificate will be customized slightly to suit the USACH Engineering faculty’s needs and consider adaptations focusing on designing mechanical, civil and electrical engineering courses to be taught in English.
Eventually, with more Engineering programming in English, USACH will be able to attract more exchange and other students from universities abroad, including Dal.
Dal instructors Shazia Nawaz Awan and Ayesha Mushtaq are facilitating delivery of the certificate.
A path to further collaboration
Dal’s partnership with USACH was inked as part of a larger mission to Chile this fall through the CALDO consortium, a group of 10 of the U15 group of top Canadian universities that promotes partnerships across Latin America.
MacDonald sees the potential for other collaborations with USACH and other universities in Chile in the future as well, particularly around research.
“There are a lot of synergies in terms of Dal and the strengths of Dal and the strengths of a lot of Chilean universities, especially in terms of areas like engineering, mining, natural resources and oceans,” she says.
Alain Boutet, executive director in Dal’s Office of International Relations, says the development of institutional links with Latin American countries such as Chile is concordant with the work Dal does as a founding member of CALDO.
“Chile is a country of focus identified in Dalhousie’s International Strategy for establishing well-rounded institutional partnerships,” says Dr. Boutet.
It’s been a busy year for Dal in Latin America and nearby, with agreements signed between Dal Dentistry and two leading Brazilian universities as well as a partnership between Dal’s Faculty of Agriculture and Mexico’s Universidad Autonoma de Campeche.
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