Nearly 6,000 miles apart, but a common thread of training educators unites Black Hills State University and its newest international partner, Mongolian National University of Education (MNUE).
Dr. Mandakh Dashdorj, President of MNUE, visited Spearfish recently to meet with BHSU leaders. Dashdorj and Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., President of BHSU, signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) providing a framework for continued collaboration.
“We share something very deep in common, and that is the importance and effort to train teachers for our respective countries,” said Jackson. “We are humbled and very honored to have President Dashdorj on campus.”
The relationship between the two universities developed when Dr. Jambalmaa Khainzan became the first international Presidential Fellow at BHSU. During her time at BHSU, Dr. Khainzan educated the university community about international issues, learned from BHSU leaders, and launched an international Rotary club on campus.
BHSU currently has five Mongolian students studying on campus. As a result of this MOU, the University looks forward to seeing an increase in the number of students from Mongolia who choose to study at BHSU.
Dashdorj said the two university’s cooperation and friendship became stronger as a result of “three days in this beautiful country and beautiful land of the Black Hills.”
“We had many conversations about future projects to impact our faculty and students at both schools. I see this as not just collaboration between our schools, but between our two countries,” said Dashdorj.
Eric Leise, director of international relations and global engagement at BHSU, said there will also be options for short-term programs for BHSU education students to explore and learn about the education system in Mongolia as a result of the partnership.
“The discussions this past week included interest in various programs that will support the School of Education, from short-term study-abroad programs for students, to joint degrees, and enrollment in online Master’s programs,” said Leise. “I also see many opportunities for joint research and faculty collaborations.”
To learn more about international relations at BHSU, visit www.BHSU.edu/international
About International Relations at BHSU
BHSU is responding to the increased need for global education, both at home and abroad. Memoranda of Understandings (MOU) provide a framework for BHSU to work with its 20 partner universities in Africa, Asia, and Europe ensuring collaboration and providing student learning opportunities. BHSU students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of study abroad programs to fit any budget, from week-long to year-long experiences anywhere in the world. Faculty-led international service learning programs allow BHSU students to address human and community needs while traveling with a group of peers and mentors. The growth of international students coming to the U.S. for higher education has a significant positive economic impact on South Dakota and on Spearfish. In South Dakota, international students contribute $42.4 million to the economy supporting 323 jobs. In Spearfish alone, international students contribute $1.1 million supporting five jobs.