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School interview: American University in Bulgaria

by C:F Team on 4th May, 2010 at 1:10 PM CEST

In preparation for the upcoming Challenge:Future Summit in Bled, Challenge:Future invited the most successful schools to answer a few questions about their activities related to sustainability, innovation and future challenges.

We'd like to continue this series of interview with American University in Bulgaria (AUBG), one of the top 20 schools competing for the Most Innovative School award in this year's competition. AUBG will also be represented at the C:F Summit with one of the 9 finalist teams.

 

How is sustainability and concern regarding our common future integrated in your school programme and activities?

"Both academic and co-curricular activities at American University in Bulgaria emphasize sustainability and our shared responsibility for the future. For example, AUBG offers courses such as Environmental Science, Business Ethics, Public Policy Analysis, Environmental Issues in SE Europe, and Environmental Economics as well as hosts a variety of student activities including the Green Committee and Better Community Club and a many lectures and events focused on social responsibility and improving communities and nations. Social responsibility is one of the values of the institution and our commitment is to investing in the capacity of our students as responsible participants in global issues."

What is your school doing to become an innovation leader?

"AUBG cannot claim to be an innovation leader as an institution, but our students are innovation leaders. For example, we graduate less than 1% of the computer scientists in Bulgaria yet 30% of the leading IT companies in Bulgaria were founded by or are run by AUBG graduates. Alumni are distinguishing themselves as leaders in other fields including business, higher education, journalism, etc.."

How will an increasingly connected world Influence your school in coming years? What will be the biggest challenges for your school?

"We have just completed a year long strategic planning process that embraces the many opportunities that an interconnected world presents. Accordingly the internationalization of the University is seen in every dimension - enrollment of students from over 35 countries, an international faculty, student and faculty mobility to Europe and the US, research relationships across disciplines and borders. Our challenge will always be to continue to attract sufficient resources, either through fundraising from private donors or grants or student tuition, to maintain the quality and diversity of our programs and activities."

In which direction should the development of Challenge:Future global innovation competition and Challenge:Future Summit go as a youth think tank?

"Our students have benefited from the opportunity to develop their innovative ideas and receive significant feedback. The only constraint that did not seem necessary was that the final activity focus on the host institution. Future Challenges might focus on areas of the world where innovation can make an enormous difference in quality of life such as Africa. Being encouraged to think beyond one’s home region - indeed beyond Europe - would be good for our students."

Challenge:Future would like to thank Ann Ferren for providing these answers on behalf of AUBG.

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Zhikica Pagovski

Zhikica Pagovski | Action team | CF Chapters

great interview! i am so happy to see my university as one of the 10 best universities in the competition! aubg rocks!

5th May, 2010 @ 5:06 AM CEST

Krste Kostoski

Krste Kostoski | CF Chapters

Great story guys, hope we will create some Balkan universities student organization. :)

5th May, 2010 @ 11:05 AM CEST

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global youth think tank & student competition