I could not be more proud and excited to share the news that Oberlin has formed a new partnership with the United Nations and the Global Foundation for the Performing Arts, or GFPA.
Last summer, the UN Institute for Training and Research, UNITAR, approached Oberlin seeking a partnership with a like-minded institution that is working toward equity, social engagement, carbon neutrality, and above all has a mission to do good in the world.
Attracted by the conservatory’s world-class reputation, UNITAR approached us with the idea of partnering. They quickly realized that Oberlin’s excellence in both the conservatory and arts and sciences would make Oberlin an attractive undergraduate institution to partner with in an effort to enhance the culture and quality of life in countries around the world.
This partnership is only one of a handful that UNITAR is creating with US colleges and universities, and their Oberlin partnership is the only one focused on undergraduate students.
It didn’t take us long to identify ways in which Oberlin and UNITAR could collaborate, and we’ve agreed to partnering in three areas.
Perhaps most significant will be our shared work to provide access for students in UN member countries to come to Oberlin to study in our undergraduate programs in arts and sciences and music. These students will apply to Oberlin through our existing processes, meet our existing rigorous academic standards, and matriculate into our existing academic programs. But the UN and Oberlin will partner on outreach efforts and coordinate funding of students through the UN and students’ home countries.
We are also in conversation about developing an intensive English immersion program designed to prepare international students for study in UN partner programs across the US. The program will bring students from across the globe to Oberlin each summer.
Finally, we will work with the UN on joint practice-based initiatives that include performance opportunities, educational and research opportunities, conferences, and symposia, all in partnership with the United Nations’ Institute for Training and Research and the Global Foundation for the Performing Arts.
The first of these initiatives will kick off in December, when our choir and orchestra will perform for the United Nations at Carnegie Hall. Many of our students and faculty are already working to prepare for this December performance.
I cannot overstate how excited I am and how much potential this partnership has to transform Oberlin in positive ways, making our campus more global and helping us live out our mission to improve the world for good. Oberlin, UNITAR and GFPA will have more to announce in the coming months, and I am looking forward to helping shape our work with these incredible new partners.
Carmen Twillie Ambar
Read the press release to learn more about the parternship.