University partners with online network Universia

This month, Yale solidified plans to collaborate with an online educational program that operates in Spain, Portugal and Latin America in an effort to extend the University’s global reach.

On March 13, President-elect Peter Salovey and Emilio Botìn, president of the online educational network Universia, formed a partnership to foster global education and increase international career opportunities for Yale students. Universia, which is made up of over 1,000 universities serving 10.1 million students and has relationships with universities from 23 different Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking countries, seeks to encourage virtual collaboration among universities across the world. Under the new agreement, Universia will offer translation services into Spanish and Portuguese for Yale Open Courses, work with Yale’s Undergraduate Career Services and Graduate Career Services to provide a new pool of internships, and translate selected articles for Yale Environment 360, an on-campus environment and climate change journal.

“Through our alliance with Universia, Yale will gain greatly expanded modes of career development, educational outreach, and communication on environmental issues,” Salovey said in a statement to the Yale community. “This important support reflects the multifaceted nature of our shared aims.”

Angelika Hofmann, deputy director for corporate and foundation relations, said Yale has been discussing a partnership with Universia since fall 2011. She added that working with Universia will continue Yale’s mission to be a global institution by increasing its networks with Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries.

Diana Kleiner, director of Open Yale Courses, said the Universia partnership will allow Open Yale Courses to broaden its reach to a new audience of non-English speakers. Kleiner said OYC has been discussing possible translation options since 2006, but financial constraints and the willingness of individuals and ability of computer systems to provide basic translations put these conversations on hold. She said she is enthusiastic that professional translations of OYC will now be available for students in other countries.

“We think of ourselves as a global entity, and in that regards, translating is an important thing to do,” she said. “This partnership dovetails with our objectives to democratize knowledge and make it more possible to have intellectual collaborations for people throughout the world.”

According to Kleiner’s most recent statistics, the OYC website has received over 6 million unique views, including a significant number of views from Latin American countries. Since the programs went online in 2007, Kleiner said she has received numerous requests to translate the courses into other languages, most frequently Spanish and Chinese.

Roger Cohn, editor of Yale Environment 360, said he is excited that the partnership will help the journal reach new readers.

“It’s good to get the Yale name and Yale brand out there to this new audience and put us in the forefront of the discussion of global environmental issues,” Cohn said.

Cohn said he met with the Universia group on one of Universia employees’ trips to Yale over a year ago, and they expressed interest in incorporating the journal into the partnership. He and his staff will select 20 initial articles to be translated into Spanish and Portuguese and featured on a dedicated page on Universia’s website, he said. Each month following, he will select three articles to add to the page, he added.

Universia is a project of the Spanish banking group Banco Santander, the largest bank in the eurozone.

Comments