Beeta Ansari

Beeta is Ashoka U’s Exchange Director, the world’s largest global convening for social entrepreneurship education.

Two Universities Recognized for their Innovative Commitment to Social Change

Arlington, VA (February 11, 2016) – Ashoka U announced today that it has designated two new Changemaker Campuses. After navigating a rigorous selection process involving months of assessments, interviews, site visits, and strategy sessions, Florida International University and Northeastern University have joined the Changemaker Campus Network. The consortium now stretches across 35 campuses internationally, each providing a unique contribution to a network of leaders in social innovation education.

Florida International University joins the network as the public research university that grants more bachelor’s and master’s degrees to Hispanic students than any other institution in the nation. FIU views itself as a “solutions center” for South Florida with numerous programs in place to help address urban challenges such as sea-level rise, transportation, and urban living. FIU also brings an impressive approach to integrating the principles of changemaking into every academic discipline through the Global Learning for Global Citizenship core curriculum.

“When I stepped onto Florida International University’s campus, it immediately felt dynamic and forward-looking,” said Ashoka U’s co-founder, Erin Krampetz.   “From the new Tech Station offering a new type of educational environment for students to the Global Citizenship core curriculum, FIU embodies the values of a Changemaker Campus by evolving to meet the needs of both students and the communities it serves.”

Northeastern University, joining the Changemaker Campus network alongside FIU, is known world-wide for its exceptional co-op model in which students alternate semesters of academic coursework with semesters of full-time employment and hands-on experience. “I think the proof of Northeastern’s exceptional model really lies in the students,” described Rebecca Kagan, Changemaker Campus Associate Director. “The students I met were some of the most mature, thoughtful, and engaged that I’ve ever seen. Programs such as Co-ops and Dialogues challenge students to be constantly thinking about real-world implications of their studies, which faculty and staff balance with rigorous academics and field-leading research.”

In addition, Northeastern has embedded strong social entrepreneurship initiatives throughout the campus. The Social Enterprise Institute hosts advanced research and an incredibly robust undergraduate minor in Global Social Enterprise. Northeastern is also home to the Social Impact Lab, which focuses on experiential approaches to social impact work. Significantly, Northeastern is the first Changemaker Campus which has fully incorporated social innovation into its law school.

About Ashoka U

The university initiative of Ashoka, Ashoka U, was launched to demonstrate that a more entrepreneurial, innovative, and world-changing higher education sector is possible. Florida International University and Northeastern University are in good company in the growing Ashoka U consortium as they join leading institutions in social entrepreneurship. These institutions are lauded for their robust interdisciplinary approaches to teaching, research, and action for the benefit of society.

Ashoka U’s annual Exchange, coming up at the end of this month, is a global convening for social entrepreneurship education. It brings together over 750 individuals representing 150 institutions from 30 countries to share action-oriented best practices on how to foster a campus-wide culture of social innovation.