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Reboot Higher Education

Dr. Beverly Barrett, Assistant Professor of Economics; AACSB Coordinator for Cameron School of Business at University of St. Thomas-Houston

The United Nations has identified 17 goals to transform the world.

They provide a shared peace-and-prosperity blueprint for people and the planet. Dr. Beverly Barrett, assistant professor of International Economics in the Cameron School of Business, responded to the U.N.’s call for action with research titled “Innovations in Higher Education and Alignment with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.”

The move to online education during the pandemic has accelerated the pace of innovation, resulting in the internationalization of higher education through technology. Barrett’s study examines how these developments align with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The investigation’s focus deals specifically with SDG-9, which says, “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.” 

How various countries apply innovation in higher education

Barrett said, “My research examines how different countries are applying creative practices to higher education, providing examples from Europe and Latin America. Also, I am looking at how the innovative infrastructure is promoting inclusivity and sustainability.” 

A new online and in-person binational economics class

In tandem with the study, Barrett created a new binational economics class, International Economics & Global Business Strategy, during summer 2021. To create the class, she leveraged innovative technology in Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) course format. Using COIL, students and professors from University of St. Thomas and Mexico partner, Universidad de las Américas Puebla, were able  to connect. “With COIL, we could collaborate for our curriculum and during simulcast classes with our institutional partner in Mexico,” the assistant professor explained. “Students from both sides of the border were able to form binational groups for projects, making the academic experience enriching.”

This work helps prepare students for the current global world, exposing them to comparative business practices and teaching them how to solve pressing workforce and societal issues. Going forward, students have chances to take classes in the COIL format and study abroad. A European opportunity is coming in June 2022. It’s called Rome: Global Business in Italy and the European Union. 

Barrett’s published work can be found here: 

  • Barrett, Beverly. “Globalization and Change in Higher Education: The Political Economy of Policy Reform in Europe.” Palgrave Macmillan, 324 pages. (2017).
  • Barrett, Fernandez, and Gonzalez. “Why Universities Voluntarily Pursue U.S. Accreditation: The Case of Mexico” Higher Education Journal Springer. Co-authored with Frank Fernandez and Elsa M. Gonzalez. (2020) 79(4):619–635.

Global Bridges Podcast

Connecting global dialogues, Barrett is the founder and host of “Global Bridges,” a podcast that interviews people located around the world about the economic recovery “there” and business in their country. Listen to “Global Bridges” wherever you listen to your podcasts at

About the Author — Jamie Roark

AvatarJamie Roark is an experienced, Houston-based content creator & communications skills coach. Through her company, Simply Communicate USA, she especially enjoys helping Higher Education and healthcare organizations to tell stories that inform and influence.

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