A new partnership between the Dominican Republic and Florida Polytechnic University is designed to contribute to stronger economies and better opportunities for the Caribbean nation, Polk County, and the state of Florida.
Alejandrina Germán, minister of higher education for the Dominican Republic, visited the University recently to discuss possibilities for collaboration.
“It is very important for the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology to establish collaborative relationships with Florida Polytechnic University so that the Dominican Republic’s Education System of Science and Technology can share experiences and achieve advancements in research, science, technology, and innovation,” Germán said.
These international relationships can be very beneficial to the University and beyond, according to Dr. Randy K. Avent, Florida Poly’s president.
“International strategic alliances are a key pillar for the growth of Florida Poly, the state of Florida, and Polk County,” Avent said. “Building these relationships helps create a strong economic impact for the region and the state and also strengthens bridges with other countries.”
Mustapha Achoubane, Florida Poly’s associate director for international relations, said the foundational building blocks for a successful and mutually beneficial long-term relationship between the University and the Dominican Republic are already in place through a strategic alliance with the Global University System.
Florida Poly is currently educating two graduate students from the Dominican Republic who are fully sponsored by their home country. The focus on providing bright Dominican students with high-quality STEM education will only expand over time, Achoubane said.
Additionally, Florida Poly and the Caribbean island nation are exploring areas in which research can be enhanced and leveraged to support development there.
“Florida Poly can play a pivotal role in that operation by using the expertise of our unique professors and programs to improve competitive advantages for the Dominican Republic,” said Dr. Shahram Taj, chair of the Department of Data Science and Business Analytics, who was among those who met with Germán.
Germán said she was excited about the many ways in which her nation can work with Florida Poly.
“We understand it would be of great importance to our country for Dominican researchers and assistant researchers to participate in trainings at Florida Polytechnic University,” Germán said. “It also would be of great importance for Dominican students to participate in internships utilizing high technology laboratories, as well as working on joint research that would contribute to our country’s continuing advancement.”
One big benefit Florida Poly will continue to see as the partnership evolves is a more diverse student body.
“We are a top-notch niche university that attracts talented global students, and enhancing diversity is a big priority because that’s where creativity is born,” Achoubane said.
“Once you bring together different perspectives, ideas, mentalities, and challenges, the result is more innovative solutions and advancements throughout the University.”
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