The announcement coincides with the one-year anniversary of the implementation of HACU’s ProTalento Job Board.

HACU president Antonio Flores asserted that the inspiration for the program was derived from members “seeking such collaborations with faculty and administrators interested in working abroad or away from their home institutions for a limited time”.

Additionally, international faculty and host institutions can “mutually benefit” from new opportunities for collaboration, such as visiting professorships, administrator exchanges, joint research, and others that can be offered in-person or virtually, he added.

Exchanges may appeal to retired faculty or those on sabbatical or summer hiatus, and that host institutions will benefit from the global talent pool, he said.

“The Faculty Exchange provides professors and administrators with invaluable opportunities to network and learn from other cultures and institutions to advance their career development or use their expertise in new settings,” Flores said.

Established in 1986 with 18 charter members, HACU now represents over 500 institutions dedicated to advocating for Hispanic achievement in higher education.

The Hispanic population is the youngest and fastest-growing population in the US, with an expected 4.4 million Hispanic students expected to be enrolled in higher education by 2025.

The number of Hispanic-Serving Institutions, classified as degree-granting organisations with a minimum of 25% full-time Hispanic undergraduate students, have doubled in the past decade.

With over 32,000 Hispanic students, Florida International University is home to the largest population of Hispanic learners in the US.

Top-ranked for awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees to Hispanic students by Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine, the institution was also named a 2021 Fulbright HSI Leader by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for hosting and sending numerous Hispanic scholars abroad and promoting Fulbright Program opportunities during the past two years, which were unusually challenging times in the study abroad field.

“The HACU Global Faculty Exchange is opening up a new pathway for people and their ideas to connect”

Stephanie Doscher, director of the Office of Collaborative Online International Learning at FIU, spoke with The PIE News about the effect the HACU initiative may have on FIU students, faculty, and the community.

“Internationalisation is about connecting higher education institutions and the people within them to the world’s knowledge exchange and production network. The HACU Global Faculty Exchange is opening up a new pathway for people and their ideas to connect.”

Doscher spoke about the educational impact of thinking creatively about exchange programs, telling The PIE, “I’ve seen it over and over during the pandemic – giving people low-cost opportunities to connect their passions and perspectives leads to high impact, high value teaching and learning”.

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