Andrew Gordon, chief executive officer and founder of Diversity Abroad, leads the conversation on the importance of providing equitable access to global education.
CASA: Hello, and welcome to CFR’s Higher Education Webinar. I am Maria Casa, director of the National Program and Outreach at CFR. Thank you all for joining us.
Today’s discussion is on the record, and the video and transcript will be made available on our website, CFR.org/academic if you would like to share them with your colleagues after today. As always, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy.
We are delighted to have Andrew Gordon with us to discuss the importance of providing equitable access to global education. Mr. Gordon is the founder and chief executive officer of Diversity Abroad, an organization focusing on topics pertaining to access, diversity, inclusion, and equity in international education. He works with higher education institutions, nonprofit and for profit organizations, and government agencies for developing strategies for increasing access to international education for diverse, first-generation, and high financial needs students. Mr. Gordon is a member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the Association of International Education Administrators, the European Association for International Education, the National Association of Black Accountants, and the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting. He is an alum of INROADS and the Association for the International Exchange of Students in Economics and Commerce.
Welcome, Andrew. Thank you very much for speaking with us today.
GORDON: It’s great to be here. Thank you.
CASA: Can you begin by giving us an overview of what equitable access to global education means and its importance in higher education?
GORDON: Yeah. Absolutely.
First, just want to say thank you, Maria, for the invitation to speak and to CFR Academic for hosting this session, particularly, this important topic. As I delve into my remarks, I’ll give a little bit of background as to the—where my remarks are going to come from.
As Maria mentioned, I founded an organization, Diversity Abroad, that centers diversity, equity, inclusion in global education. And over the last sixteen years had an opportunity to work with higher-education institutions, everything from community colleges to liberal arts, R-1s to Ivy Leagues, on this question of what does equitable access to global learning and global education mean.
And we get this question often and, usually, when I get this question sitting in meetings with academic professionals, I, in some ways, put the question back and I say, well, what’s the benefit of global education and global learning. Why do our campuses invest in infrastructure for global education and global learning, whether that’s sending students abroad, supporting international students, ensuring that global themes are embedded into the curriculum? We often hear in the field of international education the term campus internationalization. Why are we investing in that in the first place?
Well, when we think about global education and global learning and the students that engage in it, one of the organizations that many on the call may be familiar with, AAC&U, puts global learning and global education as a high impact practice, the kind of opportunities that help our students excel academically, grow interpersonally, and also be positioned that much better to thrive professionally once they leave school.
And so taking a step back and thinking of the benefits of global education, we talk about students who engage in global learning opportunities. Many times this helps open their—broaden their perspective of the world as a whole.
If they’re participating in a physical—or education abroad program, many times it helps them in building resilience, a deeper sense of self, having more empathy for those who are, if you will, “differ