Jesuit Worldwide Learning (JWL) held its annual AJCU and IAJU Liaisons’ meeting on June 7, 2021. For the second year, it was held virtually. In attendance were liaisons or representatives from 11 Jesuit universities (10 from the USA, 1 from Japan) and an American non-Jesuit university.
Father Peter Balleis SJ, Executive President of JWL, set JWL’s work in its global context and presented information regarding student enrolment in its courses, the types of programmes currently being offered in various countries, as well as the expansion of its offerings.
Father Stefan Hengst SJ, Executive JWL Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Research, shared information about the Certificate in Liberal Studies with XIM University (India) and how it offers the same programme as the Diploma except for the concentrations and two other courses. As a reminder, Regis University is teaching out its offering of the Diploma in December 2021, and students who will not complete the Diploma by then have been encouraged to transfer their Regis credits to XIM to complete the Certificate in Liberal Studies.
Mr Armando Borja, JWL Chief of Operations and Finance, discussed organisational activities and accommodations afforded students during the last year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic which prevented in-person gatherings at community learning centres at various times throughout the academic year.
Dr Isabella Rega, JWL Global Research Director, informed the liaisons of research opportunities in collaboration with JWL. Her main focus, however, was on the new research paper which provides insight into the transformative impact that the JWL Diploma in partnership with Regis University has had on its students and their communities over the past decade.
Dr Martha Habash, JWL USA Academic Director, reviewed the typical roles of JWL liaisons at their respective universities: promoting awareness of JWL’s mission and academic offerings; and identifying faculty to contribute to JWL’s diverse academic activities. Gratitude was expressed to Regis University and Dr Marie Friedemann, who has been instrumental in the success of the Diploma in her role as Regis/JWL Director for the past 10 years.
What excited the liaisons, perhaps the most, was the discussion of future offerings:
1) JWL is in deliberations with Creighton University about the offering of a Pre-STEM Certificate.
2) A Certificate in the Fundamentals in Computer Science (in partnership with Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg), which consists of 5 courses, with the first course set to be piloted in September 2021.
3) A Certificate in Solar Energy and Enterprise Development (in partnership with XIM University), which consists of 3 courses.
4) A Certificate in Peace and International Development (in partnership with HIPSIR), which consists of 8 courses.
5) A BA in eEducation (Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt) is under discussion. This would consist of 30 courses in addition to the ones transferred in from the Certificate in Liberal Studies.
Vital to the cultivation and expansion of JWL’s university partnerships (and through this, the realisation of common goals) all AJCU and IAJU members are invited to designate a JWL liaison. For more information, please contact Dr Martha Habash (firstname.lastname@example.org).