Imagine graduating from SUNY Broome – and completing your bachelor’s degree at an esteemed international university. That’s now in the realm of possibility, thanks to a new transfer agreement that links SUNY Broome with the University of Limerick in western Ireland.
Officials with the Irish university visited campus on Jan. 26 to announce the signing of a memorandum of understanding, the first to link SUNY Broome with a university outside the United States.
“We often say that ‘you can go anywhere from here,’ but these transfer agreements take that to a whole new level,” said SUNY Broome President Kevin E. Drumm. “SUNY Broome students can achieve a truly global education thanks to these partnerships, becoming not only well-versed in their fields, but true citizens of the world.”
Representing the University of Limerick at the event were Dr. Sandra Joyce, director of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance; Dr. Niall Keegan, course director for the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance; and Niamh Kavanagh, Limerick’s international recruitment coordinator.
“Our goal is to try and develop a global outlook similar to what SUNY has,” said Kavanagh, adding that Limerick has approximately 2,700 international students from around the world, out of a student population of 15,000.
As part of the memorandum of understanding, the two institutions will develop pathways for SUNY Broome students to transfer to undergraduate and graduate level programs at the University of Limerick. The agreement also encourages and promotes faculty and administrative exchanges, partnerships in innovation and applied research, distance education and more.
Future articulation agreements linking several SUNY Broome degree programs to bachelor’s degree programs in Limerick are currently under development, in the fields of mathematics, business and music.
Undergraduate music education at Limerick has three pathways: voice, in all its forms; Irish traditional music, considered a global artform; and world music, which can include anything from jazz percussion to classical piano. Additionally, there are 20 post-graduate music programs at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, which also provides the only university-based dance training on the island.
“They’ll be thinking performers and performing thinkers,” Dr. Joyce said of students who graduate from the academy.
Prior to the signing, SUNY Broome had 127 transfer agreements with 32 different institutions for a wide range of majors and degrees.
SUNY Broome also offers global experiences through a study abroad program that began in 1978, and attracts international students from around the world, noted Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer Francis Battisti.
Students have studied sustainability in Mexico, unique ecosystems in Costa Rica, and literature and science in London, as well as brought medical care, clean water and solar energy to Haitian communities through the Health for Haiti global service learning course. In addition to the partnership with Limerick, the college recently added a Global Health in Ireland course, which will send SUNY Broome students to rural Ireland during spring break to learn about and participate in public health initiatives.
Students also collaborate with their peers around the world without even leaving the campus through the Collaborative Online International Learning Initiative.
“This agreement with the University of Limerick is, in some senses, a logical development of our global experiences initiative,” said Dr. Battisti. “Our students will now have the opportunity to have a truly global experience in a beautiful and fascinating country, with a long cultural and intellectual tradition.”