Department of State news

While it remains unclear how much U.S. government money will be appropriated in FY 2012 for international exchange programs, including the Fulbright Program, other countries have been “steadily raising their financial commitment to [Fulbright]—a sign of international interest in academic ties despite the tough economic times,” the Chronicle of Higher Education reports:

The U.S. Mission to China adjudicated more than one million U.S. visas for Chinese students, tourists, and businesspeople during FY 2011, a 34 per cent increase from FY 2010, U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke recently announced in a press release by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. This number consists of the contributions by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, as well as the U.S. Consulates in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenyang, and Chengdu, the press release points out.

The first U.S.-India Higher Education Summit was held last week at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports. Attendees of the summit, including numerous U.S. university presidents, leaders in the NGO international education and exchange community, and government officials, sought "deeper, broader, and more sustained collaboration" between the two countries, including educational exchange:

The Department of State plans to resume Fulbright student and scholarly exchanges and English language training programs in Libya, the Associated Press and the Chronicle of Higher Education both report.

The U.S. Diplomacy Center, an office in the Bureau of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, has launched a new interactive website that aims to educate high school and college students about the world of diplomacy and the work of the State Department.

The National Council for International Visitors (NCIV) recently reported that a former Yemeni participant in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), Ms. Tawakul Karman, is among the three women who were awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize last week. Ms.

The Christian Science Monitor reports on the “quiet diplomatic drive that has been working since 9/11 to build positive ties between the U.S. and Pakistan: exchange programs”:

Speaking at the U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised the importance of exchange programs in the U.S.-Japan bilateral relationship and stressed that “we have to continue to invest in [exchanges].” Secretary Clinton spoke at length about the variety of exchanges that have occurred between the U.S. and Japan for decades, including high school exchange, Fulbright and other academic exchanges, professional exchange through the International Visitor Leadership Program, and sports exchange.

The Department of State released in today’s Federal Register notice of its intention to begin on-site compliance reviews for Summer Work Travel (SWT) program sponsors. The Department has identified 14 SWT sponsors (which, it notes, together sponsor approximately 65 per cent of SWT students) that will be part of an upcoming compliance review, to take place between October and December 2011. The Federal Register notice further states that:

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved yesterday the FY 2012 Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Bill. Department of State educational and cultural exchange programs received $612 million in this bill, $13.2 million above the FY 11 level and $25.1 million below the FY 12 President's request.

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