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Expanding international collaborations between DePaul and Nottingham Trent University

​​​​​​Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is a public research institution located in  Nottingham,  England, UK, with a solid infrastructure to support internationalization and global engagement. With approximately 35,000 students and several campuses across the city, NTU has an urban character and an overall ethos of access and social mobility that matches well with DePaul. Over the past few years, NTU has worked with us both in the implementation of Global Learning Experiences and in the facilitation of Global Conversations. The relatively manageable time difference between Chicago and Nottingham and the lack of significant language barriers between the two countries make NTU a very compatible partner for us. The collaboration between DePaul University and NTU continues to grow. In fall 2022, representatives from the Global Engagement team visited NTU and met with leaders from various teams involved in strengthening NTU’s virtual exchange program and offerings. Prof. Lisa Dietlin from DePaul’s School of Public Service, was part of the DPU delegation. Lisa was, at the time,  planning  a Global Learning Experience (GLE) project with prof. Paul Wreaves from NTU and she traveled to  Nottingham to solidify the faculty-to-faculty partnership, and finalize the planning and design of their spring 2023 GLE project. During her visit Lisa  got to know the city and campus, met with students  and NTU faculty/staff. In April 2023, as part of the GLE project, a group of NTU students, faculty and staff visited Chicago for a week, and, guided by Lisa,  had various site visits learning about non-profit management, which was the general topic of both courses. The student feedback was largely positive, with many comments on the benefits of having hands-on experience addressing directly with corporate clients the topics discussed between the students in their mixed groups. Read more about this visit in Lisa’s engaging blog post here. This is the third virtual exchange/GLE between the two institutions, after two previous projects in psychology, one in 2021 between prof. Molly Brown (DePaul) and prof. Glenn Williams (NTU) in Fieldwork/Internship, and one in Child Psychology in 2022 between prof. Yan Li (DePaul) and prof. Lai-Sang Lao (NTU).

university photo
Photo Credit: Rosi Leon

As a next step in the collaborations between the two institutions, a clear connection was established between NTU’s and DePaul’s art and design disciplines, particularly between DePaul’s School of Cinematic Arts and NTU’s Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies. In early June, DePaul’s Global Engagement team and the Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media welcomed Dr. Tee Dymond, Associate Director from NTU Global. Dr. Dymond met with various stakeholders and discussed concrete plans for various collaborations in virtual exchange, study abroad and​​ beyond.

NTU has also been a partner in DePaul’s Global Conversations initiative for nearly every round since they began in 2020. This past round, in April and May 2023, NTU faculty, Linda Gibson and Rachel Welton co-facilitated sessions entitled, “Transnational mobilities: Challenges and opportunities” and “Tourism and climate change: How does culture affect tourist decision making?” respectively. Their Global Conversation teams included faculty from Kenya, Spain, Uganda and the US. Their co-facilitation of the sessions as faculty members was complemented by student peer facilitators who brought unique and important skills to the session. The presence and dialogic guidance of peer facilitators in virtual breakout rooms encouraged student participation through their warmth and relatability and the practices will be utilized again in future Global Conversations.