West Virginia University continues to build international connections as visitors from Jazan University in Jazan, Saudi Arabia, traveled to Morgantown in early August.

The visit was the first funded through a recent $68,000 grant from The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to WVU and the non-profit GlobalPittsburgh to increase the number of international visitors to the area in the hopes of further developing West Virginia’s economy.

From Aug. 4-5, Hussein M. Ageely, dean of Jazan University’s Faculty of Medicine, and Ibrahim A. Bani, associate dean for Graduate Studies & Research at Jazan’s Faculty of Medicine, learned about WVU’s School of Medicine and Intensive English Program while meeting administrators on campus.

Also present was WVU’s first student from Jazan, Ibrahim Bakri, who is studying in the Intensive English Program at WVU. As the relationship between the universities progresses, agreements can be made and more students can participate in exchanges between the schools.

Michael Wilhelm, director of the Office of International Students and Scholars at WVU, said visits like these cement relationships between universities. Now that WVU is a recipient of the Benedum grant, costs of the visits, such as lodging and meals, are covered. The grant is also making it possible for WVU to dedicate a staff member to coordinate international visits.

He calls the funding for international visits a “fantastic opportunity.”

“The grant is simply allowing us now to have a dedicated resource so we can bring visitors to this campus, which we all know is the most important thing,” Wilhelm said. “Once they see WVU, they simply fall in love with it.”

The visit is the latest significant development in WVU’s push to strengthen its international visibility and standing.

  • In late July, seven students from the Royal University for Women in Bahrain were in Morgantown to attend the Honors Leadership Academy. The Royal University, founded in 2005, began a partnership with WVU in 2008 following recruiting trips to Bahrain by David Stewart, WVU dean of students; Tom Sloane, senior associate dean of students; and Wilhelm.
  • Researchers in South Korea are teaming up with colleagues at WVU to focus on the challenges of reclaiming coal mines. WVU Research Corp. President Curt Peterson signed a cooperation agreement earlier this week with Jin-soo Lee, president of the Mine Reclamation Corp. of Korea.
  • WVU signed a research agreement with one of Europe’s most respected research universities that is expected to greatly expand opportunities for collaborations between faculty, students and scientists in the U.S. and Italy. The memorandum of understanding, signed by representatives of WVU and the University of Rome Tor Vergata, is focused on direct scientific collaboration in the areas of physical sciences, engineering, mathematics, biomedical sciences, social sciences, humanities and creative arts and design.



CONTACT: WVU News and Information

Follow @wvutoday on Twitter.