About the Conference

Group shot of WCU Employees at the 2014 Knowledge Crossing Borders Conference
Conference: October 6–10, 2014
Cultural Activity/Program: October 10, 2014

The International Higher Education Congress is a biennial conference seeking to build a sustainable future through global partnerships in higher education.

Presented by the Universidad Nacional (Heredia, Costa Rica) and West Chester University of Pennsylvania, this year's theme is Knowledge Crossing Borders: Building Partnerships Through Shared Knowledge.

Scholars from around the world will examine how knowledge transactions across regional and international borders create both challenges and transformative opportunities for cooperation, change, creativity, and innovation.

Inspired by the recommendations published from the 2012 Knowledge Crossing Borders Conference at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, the Conference theme and topics are both broad and timely and will address the research, pedagogical, outreach, and administrative functions of institutions of higher education. Conference participants will explore and develop common interests and intersecting scholarly work linking two or more of the participating countries and institutions.

Topics to be covered include:

See Call for Papers for additional information

CIESUP/Knowledge Crossing Borders

The start of a collaborative partnership

Congresso Internacional de Educacion Superior (CIESUP) / Knowledge Crossing Borders arose from a generous 2006 grant that would explore the possibility of collaborative partnerships between WCU and a unit of the Universidad Nacional (UNA).

In the succeeding years, delegations from each of the universities visited each other’s campuses to cement the foundation of a partnership that resulted in the development of an international conference on higher education. UNA hosted the first conference in Costa Rica in 2010 with the goal of not only exchanging knowledge, skills and perspectives on best practices in the effective administration of higher education, but also to collaborate with overseas institutions on sponsored programs, research and other creative activities.

Key figures to this success include UNA Vice Dean Leila Villalobos and UNA Rector Olman Segura Bonilla, current UNA rectora Sandra Leon Coto, and both current West Chester University President Greg Weisenstein and former President Madeleine Wing Adler.

In addition, UNA Dean Lucia Chacon and other WCU personnel including Ana Sanchez, Andrea Varricchio, William Lalicker, Celia Esplugas and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Linda Lamwers were all central to the establishment of the conference.

West Chester University

West Chester University is the largest of the 14 institutions that comprise the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Located 25 miles from Philadelphia, West Chester University’s 403-acre campus includes academic and residential buildings, extensive playing fields, a sports complex, a new recreation center and a conserved natural area providing opportunities for research and educational programs.

While music instruction and education have been a part of the school’s curriculum since its founding in 1871, the University traces its root even farther back to the West Chester Academy, a private, state-aided school that existed from 1812 – 1869.

Today, approximately, 15,847 degree-seeking students (13,713 undergraduate, 2,134 graduate) are enrolled in five colleges, offering more than 100 graduate and undergraduate programs in the arts, science, business and public affairs, the social sciences, visual and performing arts and health sciences. Industry-specific programs include pre-med and pre-law, as well as the innovative Pharmaceutical Development program, the first of its kind in the country.

Universidad Nacional de Heredia

The Universidad Nacional (UNA) was founded as a teacher’s college in 1915 and granted university status by the government of Costa Rica in 1973. UNA now offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in 35 disciplines, combing excellent academic programs with extensive opportunities for students to become involved in campus life and the surrounding community. Students also have the opportunity to enroll at a nominal cost in artistic workshops that are offered throughout the term on such areas as modern and popular dance, theatre, choir, guitar and marimba.

Located in the city of Heredia, capital of the province of Heredia, UNA is only seven miles from the Costa Rican capital city of San Jose.