Skip to main content

ASU announces innovative higher ed awardees

March 08, 2010

The University Design Consortium has announced the winners of the 2010 International Awards for Innovative Practices in Higher Education, honoring the best institutional creative programs addressing educational needs.

The consortium, a boundary-spanning organization founded by ASU and Sichuan University in China, created these awards to honor the most innovative and successful models under way at universities throughout the world.

“These winning models by public universities around the world demonstrate the importance of developing innovative strategies to address the complex issues of the 21st century,” said ASU President Michael Crow.

The winners include:

Japan Center for Michigan Universities: Culture/Career Hybrid Programs in Japan

Since 1989, a consortium of 15 Michigan public universities has offered a variety of programs in Hikone, Japan.  These culture/career hybrid programs balance language, professionally-focused courses and internship in environmental sciences, health care and tourism.

San Diego State University: Institutionalizing Internationalization: Requiring Study Abroad

Creating a global university is one of SDSU's official goals, with international programs embedded into the research and teaching functions campuswide. To date, SDSU requires study abroad in 24 programs, covering more than 4,000 students.

The University of Texas at Austin: Projects for Underserved Communities: Engineering Solutions for Global Needs

Projects for Underserved Communities builds engineering students’ skills to address real-world needs in global communities. The course encourages global citizenship and inspires leadership, teamwork and sustainable development throughout the world.

The Open University of the United Kingdom: OpenLearn: Sharing and Shaping Open Educational Resource

OpenLearn makes educational resources freely available on the Internet, with state-of-the-art learning support and collaboration tools to connect learners and educators. The initiative incorporates a full range of subjects at all study levels which can be remixed and reused for free. OpenLearn launched October 2006 and has had more than nine million visits to date.

Case studies of the programs will be identified as Best Practices in the UDC Good Practices Clearinghouse.  This database is a collection of case studies from academic institutions around the world focused on Community Engagement, Internationalization, Sustainability, and Organizational Design.

The award review panel included Rob Melnick, executive dean and chief operatingofficer, Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University; Jaana Puukka, analyst in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Programme on International Management in Higher Education; Jian Shi, professor of English and vice president of Sichuan University, China; and David Shulenburger, vice president for academic affairs, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Washington, D.C.

The University Design Consortium engages academic leaders and policy makers to share ideas, generate solutions, and take action to make a difference in society. Visit

For more information, contact Elodie Billionniere at