What is it?
The UCosmic® Consortium is an international open-source software initiative managed by the State University of New York’s Office of Global Affairs, in partnership with the University of Cincinnati (UC). Originally developed at UC, the UCosmic system provides a means to comprehensively map global activities taking place across the institutional enterprise, enabling the university to more aggressively leverage assets and achieve internationalization objectives. In May 2012, Sovereign Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Banco Santander S.A., through its Santander Universities Global Division, announced a large grant to accelerate the development of the UCosmic® Consortium.
Who is it for?
The UCosmic Consortium is open to institutions, associations, foundations, government agencies and independent IT consultants worldwide. Our mission is to provide members with a collaborative platform to establish data and process standards needed for strategic planning, and a network for IT groups to share resources and facilitate development of compliant software. As the consortium evolves, it will test new software against member requirements and maintain open-source code libraries. It will also sponsor annual conferences and a set of networking resources designed to accelerate development and deployment. Consortium membership will benefit both institutions which opt to utilize the UCosmic technology, as well as those which choose to build their own in-house solutions.
Why should I care?
There are certain data collection and process standards that should exist to facilitate strategic decision-making for international leaders and their institutions. Historically, universities have not looked far beyond their own borders. For example, in 2006 UC asked the question "Where are our foreign graduate students receiving their undergraduate degrees?" The question simply could not be answered, because UC's student information system only kept track of domestic institutions. UC had decided long ago that the College Board and its CEEB codes were the authority for all credit-worthy, legitimate academic institutions. The problem was that CEEB codes only existed for a handful of non-US institutions. As a result, all foreign transcripts were recorded as "999998 - Foreign Institution". UC therefore created its own database of over 8,000 non-US institutions, and designed a coding scheme that could be integrated with the CEEB standard. Academic registration processes then had to be re-engineered so that foreign transcripts would be properly recorded moving forward.
The UCosmic Consortium will enable the sharing of data and process standards like these, as well as sharing the costs associated with implementation, among its members. We are proud that the College Board is now a member of the UCosmic Consortium and will be integrally involved in the development of the global institutional coding scheme going forward.
What does UCosmic stand for?
UCosmic originally was an acronym: University of Cincinnati Online System for Managing International Collaboration - UCosmic. However, now that the consortium has been formed, and the technology will be adopted by numerous institutions, UCosmic has simply become its proper name. No longer an acronym or abbreviation. UCosmic.