RIO GRANDE — To continue strengthening global relations, University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College’s Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Richard Sax presented at the 8th annual International Conference in Economics & Finance in the Lotus Room of the Beijing Minsk Hotel in Minsk, Belarus at the end of December.
The conference, which is run by the Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC) with Sverige, the Swedish Corporation for Developing Economies focuses on economics and finance, bringing together leading economists from around the world to discuss new technologies and to share research on a variety of financial topics. Sax said his presentation, “International Students in the 21st Century: Opportunities for Belarus,” focused on the direct and indirect effects of international students in any given community’s economy.
“The conference was a fascinating experience. I enjoyed seeing the research other institutions from around the world have been conducting to improve their countries’ economies. My presentation focused on the way international students can benefit the local economy as well as ’internationalize’ cultural offerings and perspectives,” Sax said. “Data from across the country shows that college communities with larger international student populations have a positive impact on the local economy by bringing in new consumers, and in some cases, a need for new business opportunities, and therefore more local jobs. As an industry, higher education is doing substantially well in terms of inflow and outflow of students, with over a million students coming to the United States to study every year and around 320 thousand American students study abroad.”
Sax was first introduced to BEROC this past summer through the Fulbright Scholar program when Rio hosted Fulbright Scholar Dr. Anastasiya Luzgina, deputy director at BEROC, to present her lecture, “FinTech Development and Cryptocurrency Market Regulation,” on campus. Luzgina, who is from the Republic of Belarus, gave a speech that included an in-depth look at FinTech, a new financial system format that is adaptive to information technologies and innovations, and how it works to create easier digital operations for investment banks and their clients. She also provided details about how the program has been used to improve the economy of Belarus. Sax said he is grateful Luzgina and her colleagues invited Rio to join the 2018 conference.
“We were very excited to have Dr. Luzgina here on our campus as a Fulbright Scholar this past summer, and that she thought of us while BEROC was planning for the conference. It was an honor to be included with universities such as Tel Aviv University, the University of Pittsburgh, Bocconi University Cornell University, George Washington University, and Stockholm University. It was fascinating to see the ways that different economists around the world addressed the conference theme of empowering women in a variety of economic contexts from the family to art and industry,” Sax said. “Dr. Luzgina, her husband and her colleagues were very welcoming hosts. The people at the conference were enthusiastic about sharing ideas and research. Attending conferences like this gives Rio a chance to join the international stage in higher education research and opportunities for students and faculty.”
While in Minsk, Dr. Luzgina scheduled a meeting with Sax and the Dean of Economic Faculty at Belarusian State University, Dr. Anna Koroleva, where he was able to discuss the possibility of future institutional cooperation.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to represent Rio at the conference and hope we can continue to keep this new friendship with BEROC and Belarusian State University,” Sax said. “Creating these partnerships around the world creates new ways to continue to provide our students with unique and lasting educational experiences.”
For more information on Rio’s international programs, contact the Office of Admissions at 740-245-7208.