Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions Co-Hosts First Global Meeting on Colleges and Universities Serving Traditionally Marginalized Students

Thursday, October 9, 2014
Media Contact: 


Kat Stein: / (215) 898-9642

Jeff Frantz: / (215) 898-3269

*Note for TV and radio: The University of Pennsylvania has an on-campus ISDN line and ready access to a satellite uplink facility with live-shot capability.

Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions Co-Hosts First Global Meeting on Colleges and Universities Serving Traditionally Marginalized Students


October 9, 2014 ­— Across the world, colleges and universities with a mission to serve traditionally marginalized populations are facing similar questions about student access, affirmative action, financial stability, and culturally relevant curricula. These institutions rarely collaborate across countries and continents on the answers.

In response, the Center for Minority Serving Institutions at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education is partnering with Salzburg Global Seminar and Educational Testing Service to host the first meeting to address these issues on an international scale. “Students at the Margins and the Institutions that Serve Them: A Global Perspective,” a five-day seminar beginning October 11 in Salzburg, Austria, is designed to jump-start a worldwide conversation on the ways schools, governments, and societies can work together to solve problems of access, stability, and opportunity.

“We are hoping to begin a conversation and do some hands-on work across various institutions and countries to strengthen the colleges and universities that do the important work of educating marginalized students,” said Dr. Marybeth Gasman, Director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions. “We have much to learn from each other.”

The goals of this partnership include:

  • Creating a global network of individuals and institutions interested in understanding the unique challenges and opportunities for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).
  • Developing a database for MSIs across the globe, so these institutions can have a common reference point for generating and sharing knowledge and research ideas.
  • Finding strategies that have been successful for MSIs around the world, and looking for ways these best practices can be replicated.
  • Examining the effect on higher education of unprecedented shifts in patterns of immigration and migration that are making countries much more diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, and religion.

Media members will have multiple avenues to report on the changing landscape for MSIs around the world.

  • Marybeth Gasman, the foremost U.S. expert on Minority Serving Institutions, and researchers from the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions will be available for interviews before and after the conference.
  • Press interested in attending the conference in Salzburg or in conducting telephone interviews with any of the faculty for the session, should contact Louise Hallman with Salzburg Global Seminar at
  • For those not able to attend but interested in the issues, Gasman’s team will post video interviews with panelists, and selected sessions from the conference on the Center’s YouTube channel. A report from panel presenters will follow on the Center’s website.

To see all 717 MSIs around the world, please visit the Center’s website.


Located at the University of Pennsylvania ‘s Graduate School of Education, and under the direction of Professor Marybeth Gasman, the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions’ goals are to elevate the educational contributions of MSIs, ensuring their participation in national conversations; increase rigorous scholarship on MSIs; connect MSI academic and administrative leadership to leading reform initiatives in the United States; inform administrative, instructional and philanthropic practices at MSIs; advance effective policies that have a positive impact on strengthening MSIs, the development and support of their students and faculty, and the quality of the elementary and secondary schools within their communities; bring together MSIs around their common interests, strengths, and challenges to increase efficiency and optimize resources; and enhance the efforts of MSIs to close educational achievement gaps and assessment performance of disadvantaged communities. For further information about the Center for Minority Serving Institutions, please visit

The mission of Salzburg Global Seminar is to challenge current and future leaders to solve issues of global concern. To do this it designs, facilitates and hosts international strategic convening and multi-year programs to tackle systems challenges critical for the next generation. Originally founded in 1947 to encourage the revival of intellectual dialogue in post-war Europe, Salzburg Global is a game-changing catalyst for global engagement on critical issues in education, health, environment, economics, governance, peace-building and more. Salzburg Global connects the most talented people and the most innovative ideas, challenging governments, institutions and individuals at all stages of development and all sectors to rethink their relationships and identify shared interests and goals. For more information, please visit,

About ETS-- At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and postsecondary education, and by conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC ® tests, the GRE ® tests and The Praxis Series ® assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. Please visit

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