OSUN Global Teaching Fellowship Program Expands into South Asia

CEU has signed an inter-institutional global teaching fellowship program agreement with Brac University (Dhaka, Bangladesh), confirming Brac as a new institutional partner in the OSUN Global Teaching Fellowship Program, and marking an expansion of the program into South Asia. The agreement was signed last month by Carsten Schneider, CEU Professor and Pro-Rector for External Relations, and Syed Mahfuzul Aziz, Professor, Pro Vice-Chancellor and acting Vice-Chancellor of Brac University.

“Developing teaching and learning, and research in these areas towards engaged, community pedagogy is a key objective for both CEU and Brac as part of our commitment to supporting educational excellence and innovation worldwide,” said Schneider. Both institutions plan to increase their impact in these areas. While the focal area of Brac University is to provide education in Bangladesh and in the region, CEU supports OSUN higher education partners with teaching and learning methodologies, practices and research. 

"This collaboration reflects our dedication to providing a world-class education and global academic exchange. We look forward to this transformative journey together," said Aziz. 

Syed Mahfuzul Aziz, Brac University and Carsten Schneider, CEU (L-R). Photo courtesy of Elkana Center.

During the upcoming 2023-24 academic year, CEU will be sending a total of 20 OSUN Global Teaching Fellows - who are either advanced doctoral candidates or recent doctoral graduates - to teach for a single semester or full academic year at institutions around the globe. The fellowships provide an opportunity for fellows to contribute to the academic life of the host departments and to gain fulfilling scholarly experience in a new context.  

For the program, CEU’s Yehuda Elkana Center for Teaching, Learning and Higher Education Research provides a leadership role in the pedagogical training of fellows, both from CEU and from other partner institutions, beginning with the Reimagining Teaching and Learning Symposium, which took place June 12-14, and continuing throughout the fellowship year through training, mentoring and support.  

“CEU's Elkana Center has played a leading role in reforming teaching and curricula in higher education for approximately two decades. The center does not just support CEU faculty in their teaching and train the next generation of academics, it collaborates with global partners to promote professional development, curricular reforms, quality assurance and teaching leadership. The OSUN Global Teaching Fellowship program is but one innovative example of such collaborative partnerships,” said Michael Kozakowski, Director of the Yehuda Elkana Center for Teaching, Learning and Higher Education Research. 

The first Global Teaching Fellow with an appointment at Brac University will be legal studies scholar Oskar Polanski from the European University Institute, beginning in August this year. “I feel fortunate to be able to join Brac University for numerous reasons - it prides itself on its impact in alleviating poverty and I am very fortunate to join an institution with such an ambitious and noble goal,” Polanski said. It is a diverse university which attracts the best and brightest minds from all over Asia and Africa. 

At Brac University, Polanski will be teaching and helping the law faculty further develop its curricula. It is one thing to go and teach a pre-existing course at a university, and another to be able to enrich it with your own ideas,” he said. It is a challenging task, but one which will certainly provide me with invaluable experience for the future. I hope my contributions to the academic culture at Brac University will be positive and impactful.Polanski also looks forward to encountering novel and creative ways of thinking in a new academic culture. 

Since it started in 2015, the OSUN Global Teaching Fellowship program has supported more than 150 fellows teaching at 20 partner institutions in 15 countries around the world.