International Educator - January/February 2017 - 28

AUW has about 500 students from 15 countries in
Asia and the Middle East, and instruction is in English.
"The young women are hearing, perhaps for the first
time in their lives, that they are leaders," Ahmad says.
"There are great expectations of them changing their

Saren Keang

28  

community and changing the world."
That vision is personified by Saren Keang, a 24-yearold from Cambodia who graduated from AUW with a
degree in Asian studies. In January 2016 she started in
the master's degree program at Brandeis University in
Waltham, Massachusetts, and is enrolled in a dual-degree program in sustainable international development
and conflict resolution.
She's the third of four daughters from a family with
little money, and her parents were urged not to continue
the girls' educations. "The normal
feeling is girls don't need to go to
higher education like boys," she says.
But Keang was top in her class,
even though she also had to help her
mother and sisters support the family
by selling food in front of their home.
She learned about AUW from a
nongovernmental organization. The
university's mission is to "empower
women and equip them to be future
leaders. That mission and goal just
spoke to me," says Keang, who has
a keen interest in gender issues and
migration.
Even though her English skills
were limited, she passed the entrance
exam and interview for admission to
the university, and received a full scholarship to attend. "I
passed because they saw my passion."
She spent one year in a preparatory program at AUW,
called Access Academy, through which students hone
their English language, critical thinking, problem-solving, and leadership skills in order to prepare them for an
American-style liberal arts education. Students also are
required to take part in community service projects and
are encouraged to join in extracurricular activities.
Because of the rigorous education both inside and
outside the classroom, "I have this confidence that I developed at AUW," Keang said, and it has prepared her to
succeed at Brandeis.
It also has encouraged her to pursue her dream-to
one day become head of the United Nations. "You need
to dream really big. Getting a little bit below that is still
high," she says.

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR J A N + F E B .17

A key role of women's universities around the world
is to foster those kinds of dreams for their students, and
prepare them for leadership positions in today's world.
"We're all about women's leadership," says Susan
Mumm, principal at Brescia University College in London, Ontario, Canada. The school was founded by the
Ursuline Religious of the Diocese of London in 1919.
"We're a university designed by women for women."
Three-quarters of the faculty are women, so leadership
"isn't just taught. It's modeled and mentored everywhere
our students look," Mumm says.

Recruiting a Challenge in North
America and Europe
Despite the role women's universities play in creating
leaders, Sutton acknowledges there have been questions
about the continuing need for women's colleges in North
America and Western Europe in today's world.
Sutton attended Bryn Mawr in the 1960s, at a time
when women weren't allowed to attend Ivy League
schools such as Harvard and Yale universities. Womenonly colleges developed in response. The Ivy League
schools began to go coed in the late 1960s.
Perhaps the best known women's colleges in the United
States are the Seven Sisters-seven prestigious women's
East Coast liberal arts colleges. The group once included
Bryn Mawr, Wellesley, Mount Holyoke College, Vassar College, Smith College, Barnard College, and Radcliffe College.
Now Vassar is coed and Radcliffe has merged with Harvard.
Most women's colleges provide a rigorous academic
education, Sutton says, and students don't succeed without
working hard. They also hold all the leadership positions at
these schools, such as in clubs and in student government,
which helps them to hone their leadership skills.
It also provides the students with "a network of highly
educated, motivated women," she says.
Kristen Renn, a professor of higher, adult, and lifelong
learning at Michigan State University in East Lansing,
Michigan, studied women's universities around the world.
One common thread for women's universities in North
America and Europe is "a very strongly articulated agenda
for women's leadership," she says.
They also have a role to play in serving women outside
the college through such efforts as hosting feminist authors and doing community outreach, she says.
The U.S. women's colleges were founded before
women's suffrage, Sutton says, and have been involved
in such actions as fighting for women's right to vote and
improving labor conditions for women and children. That
concern for society has continued today, and the schools



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - January/February 2017

From the Editor
In Brief
Voices
Act Globally
Tradition and History
Health and Insurance
Education Abroad
International Enrollment
View From Out Here
In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover1
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover2
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 1
International Educator - January/February 2017 - From the Editor
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 3
International Educator - January/February 2017 - In Brief
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 5
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 6
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 7
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 8
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 9
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 10
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 11
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Voices
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 13
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 14
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 15
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Act Globally
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 17
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 18
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 19
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 20
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 21
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 22
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 23
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 24
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 25
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Tradition and History
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 27
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 28
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 29
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 30
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 31
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 32
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 33
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 34
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 35
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Health and Insurance
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 37
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 38
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 39
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 40
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 41
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Education Abroad
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 43
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 44
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 45
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 46
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 47
International Educator - January/February 2017 - International Enrollment
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 49
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 50
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 51
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 52
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 53
International Educator - January/February 2017 - View From Out Here
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 55
International Educator - January/February 2017 - In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover3
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover4
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