March 30, 2009WVU Parkersburg signs educational cooperation agreement with Bulgarian university in virtual ceremony.
CONTACT: Dr. Rebecca Phillips, WVU Parkersburg coordinator of Office for Global Initiatives, 304-424-8282.
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In what is being described as a virtual first, West Virginia University at Parkersburg has finalized an educational cooperation agreement with a Bulgarian university.
Via a virtual bridge, WVU Parkersburg and University of Ruse representatives signed the agreement during a video conference last week between the two institutions. The signing ceremony made history twice in the process.
It is the first bilateral contract that the Bulgarian university has entered into with an American college, according to Ruse officials. Bulgarian newspaper and tv outlets covered the signing and also declared it the first Bulgarian-American official video conference bridge in Ruse.
"We are happy to put signatures and efforts to action in this signing across oceans," noted Hristo Beloev, rector of the University of Ruse, at the virtual ceremonies. Beloev used a WVU Parkersburg ink pen to intial the agreement.
"Thank you for this opportunity," WVU Parkersburg President Marie Foster Gnage told the Ruse university administration. "It is great we are continuing this relationship and we are pleased to have your students come here," she added.
As the initial program participants, University of Ruse students Denitsa Spasova and Denitsa Yordanova will attend WVU Parkersburg in the fall. They are enrolled in their university's primary school pedagogy program. They will be immersed in English during their studies at WVU Parkersburg while taking courses in the college's elementary education bachelor's degree program. The two Ruse students are receiving scholarships through the WVU at Parkersburg Foundation.
The cooperative education project is an agreement between the University of Ruse and WVU Parkersburg to facilitate the transfer of credits between the two institutions, noted Dr. Rebecca Phillips, coordinator of WVU Parkersburg's Office for Global Initiatives. Students from Ruse will be immersed in English during their studies at WVU Parkersburg.
WVU Parkersburg began an association with the University of Ruse in 2002 with the receipt of a $62,000 Fulbright-Hays Program grant. As a result, a group of Parkersburg faculty and students spent the summer in Bulgaria. Since then, a faculty exchange program has flourished between the two institutions. Ruse faculty have visited and taught at WVU Parkersburg.