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A transatlantic exploration of Centres for Teaching and Learning


In the beginning of March CDE Fellow Alexandra Mihai moved to New Haven, Connecticut, to start her journey as Fulbright Schuman scholar at Yale University. For the next six months she will be hosted by the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning, where she will be contributing to faculty development activities alongside conducting her research. 

Alexandra received the scholarship in February 2020 and was supposed to start in August the same year, but the Covid-19 pandemic had a big impact on the initial plans, so that, only two years later she finally managed to move to the US and start the programme. However, the pandemic also had positive effects on her research plans and overall context of her stay at Yale. The main focus of Alexandra’s research project is exploring support structures in Higher Education, and these have seen a great increase in visibility and relevance during the pandemic.

The main aim of the research is to understand how teaching and learning support structures are organised, how they work and what role they play within US universities. This builds upon Alexandra’s practical and academic experience and offers her an opportunity to expand her research beyond Europe. 

Working at the Yale Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning also enables her contribute to the day-to-day work of the Center. During her stay at Yale, Alexandra will also visit, together with her Poorvu colleagues, other Centres for Teaching and Learning, to learn more about their history, structures and working practices. This practical immersion will inform her research and help her in developing recommendations for the development of similar centres back in Europe.