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Affordable Global Education For All RU Students ​New Funding Model

Shakirat Bola Ibraheem, M.B.A.
Business Manager​
Rutgers Global​

Shakirat is the Business Manager at Rutgers Global, in this role she leverages her extensive corporate experiences, knowledge of accounting and finance, and deep familiarity with University budgeting resources and procedures. She has fiscal responsibilities including budgeting, forecast, and preparation of financial documents and reports for stakeholders. She has serves on University-wide committees, administers the Mandela Washington Fellows program and works on multiple programs and projects in collaboration with sponsors such as USAID, to send Rutgers Students abroad for internship and research. Bola is very personate on giving back and making a difference in people’s life, she is a regular at Food Bank, Soup Kitchen, and hope to setup a Foundation that will focus on Youth Education and helping underserved community in the US and Africa.​

Project Sponsor
Dr. Karen Staubus​
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Administration at Rutgers

Studying abroad and Global learning have become vital and expected part of University and College education experience as the world becomes more interconnected. Employers are looking for candidates with global experience and cultural sensitivity as the job environment becomes more diverse. Studies have proven that students who studied abroad gained life impacting experiences, valuable problem solving ability, critical thinking, and professional skills that set them apart from other graduates. Subsequently, many American Universities have committed to and woven Study Abroad (SA) into the fabric of their educational offerings. Rutgers has been trailing behind others, not because we lack the initiatives or sufficient student population, but because the cost of studying abroad is higher than studying on campus.​

Rutgers Study Abroad (RSA) is the most expensive program among the Big Ten Academic Affairs (BTAA). Our tuition and fees are the highest from recent bench marking of the Big Ten schools, and school with similar student body population. This is because the RSA office is self-funded and runs as a nonprofit enterprise. The salary and operating expenses are charged back to our students in the form of Administrative fees, ranging from $250 to $2,800 depending on the length of the program. Other Universities’ Study Abroad offices, are either fully or partially funded by their central administration, thereby bringing down the SA costs to a corresponding level of on campus costs, or even lower. From a recent Study Abroad Fair Registration report, 409 students out of 482 (about 85%) listed cost as concern or possible prevention from studying abroad. As a result, Rutgers has the lowest percentage of study abroad participants among the Big Ten schools, and other schools of similar size.​

This study will look at the historical RSA data to get to the root of the problem. The purpose of this project will be to propose and get approval for a new Funding Model. A model that will make studying abroad more affordable and available to all students.​