The U.S. Department of State announced that it will launch a study abroad branch to increase diversity among study abroad participants, build partnerships with foreign governments, and promote opportunities in non-traditional destinations, The Pie News reports.
Evan Ryan, the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, noted the State Department’s desire to increase diversity in study abroad participation and efforts in building partnerships:
Dr. Dan Davidson, president of the American Councils for International Education, testified last week in front of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, discussing the merits of people-to-people exchanges and their ability to foster “positive social and economic changes.” He urged the subcommittee to increase support for exchanges in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, recent areas of conflict.
Five former U.S. ambassadors to Germany believe that the decision to cut funding for the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange program (CBYX) by 50 per cent “runs contrary to U.S. interests”:
“At a time when our two countries need to work together more closely on numerous transatlantic and global issues, slashing this successful program is the wrong decision for German-American relations.”
The closure of a once commonly used visa track, for post-study international students to work in the U.K., has had negative impacts on British businesses and universities, The Pie News reports.
Funding cuts to the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX), a bilateral exchange program supported jointly by the U.S. and Germany, are facing bipartisan criticism from members of Congress, as well as from the German government. In addition to opposition from CBYX program alumni, the cuts have “spawned an unusual coalition in Washington that is working hard to reverse the partial defunding of the program,” Deutsche Welle reports.
The Indian academic community has voiced concerns regarding the one-sided nature of the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GAIN), an exchange that only incorporates Indians hosting Americans but not the other way around, according to The Chronicle Of Higher Education. GAIN is an Indian program that will host 1,000 American scholars annually.
Dovetailing with the White House’s focus on the important role played by two-year institutions in American education, the Department of State and the Fulbright Program are seeking to involve community colleges more in exchanges, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
Thirteen young professionals from 12 European countries, ranging from Turkey to Russia, were profiled in a new documentary called "Connecting Cultures, Impacting Lives: The IVLP Experience." These professionals were engaged in the State Department sponsored International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), participated in youth leadership events throughout their five-city, 22-day program.
An increasing number of high school graduates in the United Kingdom are interested and/or enrolling in universities outside of the U.K., according to The Independent. A survey of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) found that ninety per cent of its administrators had noticed increased student interest in universities outside the U.K. over the past three years.
The U.S. Department of State is celebrating 75 years of state-sponsored exchange programs this year. Launched today is a social media campaign using the hashtag #ExchangesAre and comprising an array of videos that will explore the historical impacts of such programs. The 75th anniversary of State Department exchanges coincides with today’s launch of a new, informative website and will also be accompanied by a series of events throughout 2015.