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What’s the Icelandic word for partnership?

MSU Denver and Reykjavík University sign MOUs to support student and faculty exchanges, collaborative research.

By Lindsey Coulter

October 15, 2019

MSU Denver and Reykjavik University officials at MOU signing.Metropolitan State University of Denver recently established a samstarf with Reykjavík University. In September, faculty members from the MSU Denver Department of Psychological Sciences and their Icelandic counterpart signed two Memorandums of Understanding that will expand opportunities for students and educators.

The first MOU outlines a broad agreement for the two universities to build a partnership that will encompass research as well as student and faculty exchanges.

“The second, more specific MOU articulates the details of a new student exchange to begin with students from the respective psychology departments here and in Iceland,” said Layton Curl, Ph.D., chair, Psychological Sciences. “For MSU Denver, this will permit Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies majors a unique opportunity to study abroad in Iceland while paying MSU Denver tuition. Ultimately, we hope (this partnership) will grow and expand to other departments, too.”

This is Psychological Sciences’ first MOU with any national or international university. To begin, the burgeoning partnership will permit up to three students per year to exchange from each institution at their local tuition and fees cost. All classes that students from MSU Denver will take at Reykjavík will be taught in English. This expands academic options for students, who can take advantage of a wide range of electives.

Curl said cultivating international partnerships is so important for our faculty and students because “it fundamentally broadens perspective, improves critical thinking and exposes students to interactions, opportunities and knowledge that don’t occur outside of an international exchange,” Curl said. “Having been an exchange student myself in both high school and college … it gave me perspective for life.”

Faculty members will similarly be able to travel from one institution to the other to share their skills in the classroom. For faculty members in the MSU Denver Department of Psychological Sciences who are also engaged in research, the highly cited Reykjavík University offers great potential for collaboration. In a Times Higher Education ranking of the best universities in the world, Reykjavík University tied for third in terms of scientific citations with Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University.

“Similarly, the faculty members at RU are eager to engage here,” Curl said. “The quality of the programs at both intuitions is excellent, and the exchange will serve to enhance both institutions.”

MSU Denver hopes to send its first faculty member to Reykjavík University by next fall, and Reykjavík University is preparing to send the first Icelandic student to MSU Denver as early as the spring semester.

“This agreement represents another link in MSU Denver’s expanding network of international partners,” said Akbarali Thobhani, Ph.D., executive director, Office of International Studies.

It is the third MOU that MSU Denver has signed this year, following agreements with institutions in Mexico and Spain.

Topics: Academics, Best practices

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