HECUA’s International and Institutional Partnerships
In the summer of 1968, HECUA began as an experiment in Minneapolis: an urban studies program with students living and working in and with a neighborhood, instead of “examining” that neighborhood from the distance of a university campus. Augsburg College provided the faculty and support for the first credit-bearing program, and by 1971, the HECUA consortium included Augsburg College, Augustana College, Bethel College, Carleton College, Gustavus Adolphus College, Hamline University, Luther College, Macalester College, St. Olaf College, St. John’s University, St. Thomas University, and the University of Minnesota. Today the consortium includes 24 institutions, and the 13 HECUA programs continue the legacy of that 1968 experiment, engaging with present-day research and teaching, and with issues of inequity and injustice—as communities define them.
In 1973, HECUA expanded abroad and began the Scandinavian Urban Studies Term in Oslo, Norway. That program focused on Scandinavian cities and innovations in urban planning. Since 1973, HECUA’s institutional partner in Norway is the International Summer School at the University of Oslo. Today, the program known as The New Norway explores issues of identity and belonging in a time of mass displacement, migration, and globalization.
In 1977, HECUA added a program in Colombia, South America, later moving to Guatemala, and after that joined by a program in Ecuador. Today, the Community Internships in Latin America program in Ecuador focuses on models of community participation, development, and social change. Since 1999, HECUA’s institutional partner in Ecuador is Instituto de Estudios Ecuatorianos, the Institute for Ecuadorian Studies in Quito, Ecuador.
In 2000 HECUA introduced a January-term program in rural and urban Bangladesh, through a partnership with Independent University, Bangladesh. That program was taught until 2012. The partnership continues, with the hope of offering the program again.
In 2002, HECUA launched the semester program Northern Ireland: Democracy and Social Change. Since then, the program has been based at HECUA’s institutional partner in Northern Ireland, Ulster University. Students engage in internships and research while examining political, social and cultural dimensions of transition from conflict to sustainable democracy. The program is affiliated with INCORE, the International Conflict Research Institute on the University’s Magee campus in Londonderry/Derry.
Since 2006, HECUA has offered a summer program on the past and present of the Civil Rights Movement in partnership with the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy on the campus of Jackson State University, one of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
In 2011, HECUA developed a program in New Zealand, working with long-time activist and lawyer Peter Horsley. The institutional partner is EcoQuest Education Foundation, a pioneer in applied field ecology study abroad in New Zealand since 1999.
2015 saw the development of a program on Sustainable Agriculture, Food, and Justice in Italy. The institutional partner there is Sonnino International Education Centre at Castello Sonnino, in Montespertoli, Tuscany.