Policy Monitor Weekly Digest

Dozens of officials from colleges and universities in the United States have traveled to Cuba in order to strengthen and restore cultural ties, a goal that the U.S. has been trying to achieve for many years now due largely to new partnerships forming between higher education institutions in both nations, according to Education Dive.

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The House of Representative’s Committee on Appropriations released the 2017 fiscal year report for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs. The Committee recommended a total of $602.79 million for Educational and Cultural Exchange programs. In total, the Committee recommendations for Academic programs totaled $311,441 million, while Professional and Cultural Exchanges totaled $208,240 million.

Please see below for more details on the Committee Report:

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NAFSA: Association of International Educators is calling on the next President and Congress to adopt policies that will advance international education and study abroad, and help create a more “welcoming and globally engaged United States,” the PIE News reported recently.  

A resolution introduced by Senator John Boozman (R-AR) and Congressman French Hill (R-AR) last week commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Fulbright Program. Since its inception in 1946, the renowned program has received wide recognition, boasting more than 370,000 alumni, including 82 Pulitzer Prize recipients, 54 Nobel Prize laureates, and 33 heads of state, according to the resolution.

A bipartisan resolution (H.R. 775), introduced by Congressmen Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Joaquin Castro (D-TX), recognizes the impact of Sister Cities International over the past 60 years and designates July 15, 2016 as “Sister Cities International Day”.

Exchange programs administered under the U.S. Department of State are being pushed to give special consideration to applicants from regions and populations susceptible to foreign manipulation, as stated in an amendment to the Senate's National Defense Authorization Act (S.2943).

The international education community is being called to promote the values of openness and inclusion as a way to combat the “unwelcoming political rhetoric” surrounding the U.S. presidential election, according to the PIE News.

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New creative initiatives are being implemented through members of the Generation Study Abroad campaign, seeking to diversify the population of students going abroad. The Atlantic reports on various efforts by schools, nonprofits, businesses, and the federal government that have already proven fruitful since the project launched in 2014.

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Achievements and further expansions in exchange programs between citizens of the United States and the People’s Republic of China were discussed by top diplomats at the China-U.S. Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) last week in Beijing.

Throughout the seventh annual high-level meetings, co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, top government officials met with participants of past exchange programs and expressed strong support for the continuation of these initiatives.

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► The importance and value of virtual exchanges took center stage in remarks by Assistant Secretary of State Evan Ryan and former Mayors Michael Bloomberg and Michael Nutter at a recent symposium on global digital education.

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