document reviews the conference deliberations and sets forth recommendations
and a suggested plan of action. The Appendices include abstracts of
major addresses made during the conference, the conference agenda, a
White Paper by Dr. Ted Sanders, President of Southern Illinois University,
and a list of conference participants.
presence of international students on U.S. campuses has created significant
political, social, and economic benefits for our nation as a whole,
but disturbing trends throughout the 1990s show that the United States
may be losing its competitive edge in international education.
U.S. higher education and related organizations are seeing large numbers
of students from Japan, China, Korea, India - countries that traditionally
provide a large proportion of our foreign student enrollment - choosing
to study in other countries. In the 1980s, 40 percent of the 1.3 million
students studying abroad did so in the United States. Today we enroll
just 32 percent.
In addition to
this declining trend in the percentage of international students studying
in the United States, officials are also noticing aggressive competition
from other English-speaking countries.
To address these
concerns, Dr. Joseph Duffey, Director of the United States Information
Agency, and Dr. Nancy Cole, President of Educational Testing Service,
convened a summit at the State Department on September 24, 1998. Participants
in the summit on U.S. Leadership in International Education included
representatives from institutions of higher education, U.S. corporations,
non-profit organizations, and government entities.
participants sought to identify barriers to international educational
exchange between the U.S. and other countries and to formulate an action
plan to maintain U.S. leadership. A volunteer task force will be formed
to take action on the conference recommendations; and USIA will coordinate
U.S. government involvement on this front.
SUMMARY OF CONFERENCE DELIBERATIONS
At the end of
the conference, it was clear that intensified competition from other
countries was only part of the reason for the erosion of America's dominant
position in the world of international study. Other more troubling signs
emerged - ones showing that key players in the United States' international
education effort have contributed to this decline through benign neglect.
In his White Paper written for the conference, Dr. Ted Sanders, President
of Southern Illinois University, identified complacent attitudes on
the part of U.S. institutions of higher education toward promoting themselves
to foreign students; state and Federal governments failing to promote
an aggressive spirit of entrepreneurship in international education;
and diminishing Federal funds to support overseas educational advising
centers affiliated with the United States Information Agency as factors
that have contributed to this neglect.
Dr. Sanders summed
up his position by noting, "If we are to regain our position of dominance
in this very important area, we must now begin to emulate the enlightened
policies of other advanced nations who have seen the future and are
aggressively pursuing it. Nationally, we must enhance our tangible support
for international efforts within a framework of a broad-based, clearly
defined strategy . . . "
Following a series
of major addresses, participants joined one of three groups to discuss
the issues in-depth. They identified many of the barriers to U.S. leadership
in international education.
of clarity, we have grouped issues identified by conference participants
into four categories: those that need to be addressed by higher education;
by Federal, state, and local governments; by businesses and corporations;
and global systemic issues.
of Higher Education
For many decades,
the flow of international students to the United States seemed to be
never ending. Yet, participants agreed that this abundance has contributed
to complacency by some institutions, evidenced by inattention to the
marketplace. A long complicated application process for U.S. study and
the perceived high cost of a U.S. education hamper international exchange,
as does limited collaboration between U.S. and foreign institutions.
For many younger U.S. faculty, a year abroad is career-deflating rather
than enhancing. The difficulties that faculty sometimes experience in
taking advantage of opportunities to research or teach abroad diminish
the overall impact of international exchange and hamper Fulbright and
other sponsored programs. Participants acknowledged that other institutions,
however, are actively engaged in entrepreneurial approaches to international
education, with extensive collaboration with institutions abroad and
active overseas recruitment efforts.
also discussed the inadequate integration of foreign students on American
campuses. It was felt that officials at many institutions viewed these
students primarily as revenue sources and offered limited mechanisms
for incorporating them into or using their experiences to enrich campus
life, including limited use of Fulbright students and scholars on U.S.
campuses. There was also little effort given to encouraging foreign
students to learn about American life. In addition, participants also
identified a lack of information provided to international students
on opportunities offered by community colleges as entry points to U.S.
study. In the area of recruitment, experts at the conference also noted
a failure by U.S. campus administrators to utilize and support the USIA-affiliated
advising center network and the need to make better use of overseas
alumni for recruiting purposes.
focussed primarily on issues related to foreign students in the U.S.
However, campus internationalization and study abroad issues also received
some attention. Participants noted that U.S. students could benefit
more broadly from the presence of foreign students on campus, but that
interactions between the two groups are often limited. Rigid curriculum
requirements, graduate faculty expectations, and restrictions on using
financial aid for study abroad often constrain overseas study opportunities
for U.S. students.
State and Local Governments
It was generally
agreed that government officials at all levels had ignored or contributed
to these disturbing trends. As Dr. Sanders noted, "In years past, the
United States relied heavily on its overseas educational advisement
centers, supported by the United States Information Agency, to communicate
the strengths of the American model' of higher education. Yet Federal
funds to support these centers have steadily diminished, forcing some
of them to close and services to others to be cut." Cuts in Federal
funding have also affected Fulbright and other scholarship programs
and exchanges. Congressman Payne pointed out the need to build interest,
concern and knowledge of international issues and programs in the Congress.
participants noted the absence of a clearly articulated foreign policy
strategy which recognizes international educational exchange as a fundamentally
important endeavor at policy levels. Such a strategy should be accompanied
by compatible regulations and procedures that encourage, rather than
discourage, foreign students to study in the United States. There is
also insufficient recognition in the Federal government of education
as a trade issue.
of concern to conference participants was the lack of coordination at
the Federal level between the State Department and the Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS), as evidenced by burdensome visa regulations,
and consular officers with overly heavy caseloads, resulting in visa
interviews that shortchange applicants.
At the state
level, there is a need for alliances between state university boards,
state governments and commerce officials to support international education.
Participants stated that state legislatures have sometimes opposed educating
international students at state expense.
agreed that there was a definite need for the business community to
pick up where Federal support for scientific and technological research
has declined. They also called for greater links between businesses
and universities to ensure premier scientific research capacity and
the ability to attract the best minds.
Because of the
need for global workforce development, the private sector is well positioned
to raise awareness and political support. One supporter of increased
investment and attention to international study and exchange by corporations
was Peter C. Thorp, Vice President of Corporate University Relations
and Educational Programs at Citibank. In remarks that could apply to
all businesses he said, "Citicorp receives benefits by supporting education
from the employment angle - that is, to recruit bright, well-educated
employees, and to better position their businesses worldwide. Creating
partnerships, creating ties, can make things happen for businesses.
Investments in education can be very long term investments in the economies
and leadership of foreign countries."
It was generally
agreed that U.S. companies especially need to be involved in international
education because of their need to recruit employees overseas who are
U.S.-trained. Yet only a small percentage of corporate foundation money
is devoted to international activities, compared with the amount of
corporate income that originates in overseas markets.
In the invitation
to conference attendees, Nancy Cole noted, "Businesses need workers
who can function in foreign marketplaces and who are sensitive to cultural
and societal issues. America is preeminent in educating leaders for
the global economy, and we must ensure that the best and brightest international
students continue to choose the United States for their post-secondary
While the United
States remains the country of choice for most foreign students, our
relative share of foreign students has fallen because absolute numbers
have plateaued. The reasons, conference attendees learned, are also
the result of systemic issues that cut across international borders,
and some that are beyond the control of government, education or business.
Conference participants raised the following points:
- In 1997-98,
the nearly 500,000 foreign students in the U.S. contributed $8.27
billion to the U.S. economy.
- Foreign students
in Australia contributed more than $1 billion to the Australian economy
and foreign students in the United Kingdom contributed approximately
$1.8 billion to the economy of the U.K.
- Distance learning
technology is creating new outlets for the marketing of education
around the world. In some cases, students can receive a degree from
a foreign university without ever leaving home.
- Many educational
systems around the world are strengthening their capacity and increasing
enrollments in order to keep their "best and brightest" at home for
their higher education.
- The relative
strength, or weakness, of economies of other countries relative to
that of the U.S. impacts the ability of students from those countries
to afford the costs of U.S. study. This balance is constantly changing
and can affect the marketing of U.S. higher education dramatically,
as evidenced by the recent financial crisis in Asian countries.
- The ability
of foreign students to study in the U.S. is inhibited by a complex
regulatory environment unlike that of the countries which compete
with the U.S. for these students.
speaker, the Honorable Ray Mabus, former governor of Mississippi and
former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, noted, "International students
are important to our national and local economies, to the strength of
our system of education; they add diversity to our campuses. It is becoming
more difficult to attract and keep international students. Competition
from developing local institutions around the world and from other countries
trying to attract students could lessen the numbers of foreign students
coming to the United States. The United States is going to have to do
a better job. We've got competition; we're not a monopoly anymore. We
can't beat other countries in the price of higher education, but we
can be better in quality. We are the best. We need to do a better job
of letting everyone know about what we have here in the United States."
list of recommendations for action is the combined work of conference
attendees and distinguished speakers who are leaders in the world of
education, government and business. They are offered by people who daily
face the challenges of maintaining America's preeminent position as
the destination of choice for international students seeking the best
in higher education. The conference attendees felt these recommendations
could serve as the basis for a vitally important effort of bringing
international education needed recognition.
1. DEVELOP A CLEAR FEDERAL POLICY ON INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION.
It is critical that the Federal government continue to play a significant
role in international educational exchange. We recommend that the U.S.
government develop a clear Federal policy statement placing international
education on the national agenda. The policy would define the goals
of the Federal government in the field of international education and
inform and direct programming and regulations, including visa regulations,
tax policies and funding for grants, and strengthening of the overseas
educational advising network.
2. CREATE AN
ALLIANCE IN SUPPORT OF INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION.
The corporate community needs to be engaged with U.S. universities and
governments at all levels. We must build up communications networks
among the various stakeholders, including government, the academic community,
and the corporate sector, and develop a consensus on the issues and
messages that need to be conveyed. Possible models for partnerships
with the business community include NAFSA's ASPIRE project, alliances
with the tourism and airlines industries, and state government/business
alliances using public funds to match private sector funds as was successfully
done in Minnesota to promote tourism and in Massachusetts to increase
foreign student flows.
3. CONDUCT A
PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN ABOUT INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION.
We recognize the critical need for a coherent case on international
education to be made to the professional community and the public at
large. The public needs to be educated about the positive impact of
international student flows and about the serious nature of the issues
surrounding U.S. leadership. This message also needs to be addressed
to policy makers, corporations, local, state, and national legislators,
and administrators and educators at all levels.
MARKET U.S. EDUCATION ABROAD.
We recommend that the full spectrum of U.S. higher education be marketed
and represented abroad in a coordinated manner. Ideas to be examined
include devising a group-representation mechanism similar to that used
by Australian and British universities; convincing state trade missions
to include representatives from universities and community colleges
(perhaps subsidized by corporate presidents); reestablishing contact
with foreign alumni of U.S. universities; and developing different marketing
approaches for varying audiences. Alliances should be developed between
community colleges and four-year institutions to market themselves jointly
overseas as a cost-effective alternative to other countries' publicity
about the high cost of U.S. tuition.
BEST PRACTICES AT U.S. UNIVERSITIES. We recognize the need to develop
models that showcase the integration and utilization of foreign students
and scholars on campus, and the need to encourage educational institutions
to train faculty, staff and administrators on the kinds of systemic
change required to make institutions more hospitable and make curricula
1. Convene a
task force to disseminate data on marketing international educational
exchange, conduct a public advocacy campaign to put international education
on the national agenda, and craft a coherent message that demonstrates
the political and financial case and engages policy makers.
The task force
should be composed of individuals from universities, corporations, non-governmental
organizations, and various levels of government, each of whom would
be assigned a specific issue/barrier and who would then identify others
with whom to work on dismantling the barrier. A number of conference
participants volunteered to work on the task force and will be contacted
in the near future by ETS and USIA.
2. Convene the
concerned Federal government bodies to discuss coordinating policies
and procedures. These would most likely include the Department of State,
the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Department of Education,
the Department of Commerce, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Office
of the U.S. Trade Representative. USIA representatives agreed to spearhead
the quest to coordinate government action.
Dr. Ted Sanders,
President of Southern Illinois University, summed up the challenges
ahead saying, "The United States has an unparalleled opportunity to
market our advanced and very cost-effective delivery system in higher
education. If we don't seize this opportunity, if we continue the gradual
erosion of international students in our colleges and universities,
we will lose far more than tuition dollars, important as these may be
to local and state communities."
"As a nation,
we will begin to find it more difficult to make friends around the world,
to cement ties economically, culturally, and politically. Our influence
as a positive international force depends on people in other countries
understanding and appreciating American culture. To sustain that powerful
instrument of foreign policy, a coordinated and assertive national policy
for international education must be placed near the top of the agenda
for Congress and the President."
I: Abstracts of Major Addresses
Joseph Duffey, Director, U.S. Information Agency, Welcoming Remarks
We want to develop
a strategic plan to maintain and maybe increase U.S. competitiveness
in international education. This competitiveness has implications for
educators, business leaders, and the foreign affairs community. Educators
are forced to review the quality of U.S. education; business leaders,
to ensure dynamism and resources for growth; and the foreign affairs
community, to adjust to a world in which it is increasingly necessary
to work together with other countries and ensure a more accurate understanding
of the U.S. in the post-Cold War era. There is no substitute for international
education since neither tourism nor the popular culture currently being
exported gives a complete or accurate view of the U.S. I don't think
the edge has been lost, but I don't think we can take it for granted.
Sharon Robinson, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer,
Educational Testing Service
Today is an important
step in articulating our conference mission of maintaining the edge
in international education and also in developing a strategy to increase
the number of global students coming to the United States to work and
study. At ETS we sincerely believe that a critical aspect of education
is maintaining a global environment where students of every age, learn
about and from people of diverse backgrounds. Being exposed to people
of different languages, religions and cultures creates an understanding
that is critical to maintaining and expanding our own appreciation of
diversity and our own sense of well-being. Education makes it all possible.
William Perry, Former Secretary of Defense, "American National Security
Interests: The Importance of U.S.-Educated International Students"
education programs create goodwill toward America all over the world.
Foreign students are motivated to come to the U.S. because of our leadership,
especially in science and technology, which has contributed to our national
economic well-being. The most obvious example of American leadership
today is in information technology, and our universities have achieved
a unique connection with our technical companies. Foreign students come
to the U.S. for education in science and technology because they want
the best in education and because they want to learn to relate to industry
like our universities do.
But the interest
of other countries in having their future leaders educated in American
universities depends on the U.S. maintaining its world leadership in
science. It also depends on America's universities maintaining their
standards of excellence in science and technology education and research,
which many Americans take for granted. But this leadership cannot be
taken for granted in the future.
of critical importance to a country trying to maintain technological
leadership. Technological training at U.S. universities has been relevant
and cutting edge because of close ties between education and industry.
Our leadership in technology today depends on our leadership in technical
education and in maintaining the unique bonding between our universities
and our technical companies.
The magnet effect'
of U.S. universities is decreasing. We need an increase in Federal funds
for technology-based programs or alternatively, funding from research
consortia composed of industries to invest in technology-based programs
at our universities.
students to study in the U.S. is a win-win-win situation: it's a win
for our economy; it's a win for our foreign policy; and it's a win for
our educational programs. Foreign students spend money while they are
in the U.S., and when they return home, they often become business leaders
who deal with U.S. colleagues. In addition, foreign students work hard
in graduate courses, which raises the bar for U.S. students, forcing
them to work harder.
Ray Mabus, Former Governor of Mississippi and Former U.S. Ambassador
to Saudi Arabia, "Building a Global Community, State by State"
I've always thought
that if you did one thing right, education was it, and that you could
shut down the rest of government if you did that right. We need to give
our children the chance to succeed. Globalization and global interdependence
affect us every day, in economics and in higher education. More international
students come to the U.S. than U.S. students go abroad, which testifies
to the excellence of U.S. higher education. At the University of Mississippi,
58 flags fly in the student union, representing the countries of all
Ole Miss students, including 2,100 foreign students. These international
students are important to our national and local economies, to the strength
of our system of education; they add diversity to our campuses. It is
becoming more difficult to attract and keep international students.
Competition from developing local institutions around the world and
from other countries trying to attract students could lessen the numbers
of foreign students coming to the U.S. The U.S. is going to have to
do a better job. We've got more competition; we're not a monopoly anymore.
We can't beat other countries in price of higher education, but we can
be better in quality. We are the best. We need to do a better job of
letting everyone know about what we have here in the U.S.
On trade visits
abroad, state governors should take education representatives, university
presidents with them. We need to think internationally' and be more
aggressive in reaching the worldwide audience. International students
bring new ideas and cultural richness to our universities and our communities.
Also, they experience America. This creates some common ground in international
relations. Excellence and hard work are needed and will work for higher
education. American higher education will prevail.
Goodman, President and CEO, Institute of International Education, "Open
Doors and Opening Minds: Why Both are Needed for the 21st Century"
Three key questions
we must answer are: Why is it important for the U.S. to have the leading
edge in international education? What is making it so difficult to keep
that edge? What do we have to do?
The single most
important success factor for our times is having people whose minds
are open to the world. This can only happen through international education.
English is the international language, the dollar is the world currency,
and the Internet is the means of communication. The costs of retaliation
and security following the terrorist bombings in Africa were many times
the budget request for international education. This disparity is striking.
While the U.S.
government will maintain its leadership role in supporting flagship
initiatives such as Fulbright, Humphrey and the National Security Education
Program, future programs will require enlarging the circle of private
sector stakeholders. Sources of corporate philanthropy have contributed
only one out of every nine dollars in grant aid to international programs,
while corporations earn six out of every ten dollars from their international
activities. The best and brightest foreign students are now being aggressively
recruited by other countries. We cannot continue to take for granted
the flow of foreign students to U.S. campuses, or underestimate the
intellectual, strategic, and financial resource they represent.
governments are developing sophisticated and well-funded strategies
to increase the international mobility of their students and faculty
members, there is no parallel strategy or resource pool to encourage
and facilitate international academic mobility by Americans. Few American
corporate leaders have ever articulated the importance of worldwide
learning; yet no major business today can expect to survive without
managers who are knowledgeable about and able to work across nations
as well as cultures.
The numbers of
foreign students coming here have been flat for several years, and visas
are harder to get. Only about 1 percent of American college students
study abroad, many of those in English-speaking countries. The problem
is larger than just Federal funding cuts. Some suspect that internationalize'
may be just a buzzword rather than a reality. Faculties do not appear
convinced about the value of overseas experience and scholarship.
have virtually ignored the foreign investment brought to them in the
millions of dollars by international students. Only a handful of states
have developed a coordinated academic recruitment strategy. We cannot
take for granted those flows of students to our shores.
There is, in
sum, work for all of us here to do.
Why is it so
difficult? We are cutting budgets. International educational exchanges
are being affected. The private sector must step up to the plate to
make international study possible. Companies are generating sales from
abroad but not giving enough philanthropy or grants back. The private
sector must speak out about the need to promote international education
activities. Many nations have an international education policy to easily
recruit international students. But our prices are high, and we do not
have such a policy. We need to.
The U.S. curriculum
makes it difficult to do study abroad. Senior scholars often discourage
younger faculty from applying for Fulbright or other fellowships. We
need to value the overseas experience more. We should also provide more
scholarships. Deans and provosts need to change in this direction.
We need to lead
a charge together. The U.S. government, state government, academic leaders,
and corporate leaders all have roles. Academic leaders must clearly
articulate the value of international students on campus and the value
of study abroad for U.S. students. CEOs of major companies must speak
out on the importance of international education.
Together we have
to make the case that international education is one of the surest ways
left to make the world a less dangerous place.
Johnson, Executive Director, NAFSA: Association of International Educators,
"A Model to Improve Strategies for Supporting Study in the United States"
The U.S. needs
more data about the potential pool of international students who may
be interested in U.S. study. As a nation we don't know nearly as much
about where foreign students come from as we should, given their importance
to our colleges and universities, to U.S.-based employers, and to local
economies. We have an excellent census that tells us more or less everything
we need to know about international student enrollments, but we don't
know much about what happens upstream. Knowing that two million students
come through USIA's network of 450 advising centers worldwide, and that
50-90 percent of the international students who do study in the U.S.
have come through those centers, is not enough information. The U.S.
should have a keener business sense of this raw material.' What is the
potential of U.S. educational advising as a business?
All of us with
a stake in international education have something to learn from McDonald's
and its strict but flexible strategy of franchising - demanding standardization,
yet allowing a high degree of local ownership and customization, simultaneously
protecting and extending its brand. Other top U.S. service export sectors
- banking, accounting services, and so on - are much more consolidated
and benefit from representation by trade groups. In higher education,
the bigger names may not need this trade group representation. But the
U.S. education system may benefit from cooperative marketing. Such tactics
are most needed and most useful in sectors not dominated by one or more
highly visible brands. Competitive pressures from Australia, Canada,
and the UK, the rising costs of U.S. education, and increasing educational
opportunities in students' home countries are issues which should compel
the U.S. to think about the benefits of cooperative marketing.
The place to
start with these efforts is the network of U.S. overseas advising centers.
U.S. higher education needs to recognize this system and make it an
integral part of its own system. Data is needed on how much this network
costs to operate and how to more precisely assess its effects.
Then we can begin
to think of the changes that consolidation can bring. Currently, each
university advertises itself to the international market in a variety
of means--booths in international events and education fairs, branch
campuses, local advertising, and so forth. It is extremely difficult
to market U.S. education' abroad when the system of U.S. education itself
is larger, more complicated, and more decentralized than any other nation's.
An apt analogy for marketing U.S. education abroad might be piloting
a supertanker with hundreds of presumptive captains at the helm.
efforts could be worth it. NAFSA believes that the interests of students
and universities and colleges alike would benefit by the creation of
a more coordinated, disciplined, and focused marketing of U.S. higher
education abroad. Exporters, importers and brokers all would gain from
the creation of an independent, self-sustaining entity which would provide
products and services such as marketing, management, and training after
the franchising model. This entity would be funded by its member institutions,
Federal and state governments, and businesses.
We must not allow
the present system of overseas advising centers to languish and deteriorate.
In a changing geopolitical and technological environment, everyone in
the room has something to contribute to the health of this vital network
and should not pass on the opportunity or the responsibility to promote
U.S. higher education to the world. We must think creatively, we must
demonstrate our agility and our willingness to consider new strategies,
and we must be entrepreneurial. Our contributions will go farther if
we make them together.
Summaries of Panel Discussion
on "Forging Alliances to Support International Education" Moderator:
Dr. Ted Sanders, President, Southern Illinois University
1: Congressman Donald M. Payne (D-NJ):
exchanges are crucial to the U.S. at the edge of the next millennium,
especially with our interdependent world. There exists a most unfortunate
lack of interest, concern, and even knowledge of international relations
in the U.S. and the U.S. House of Representatives. Funding for USIA
programs has been cut. This trend should not continue. The numbers of
students from Asia, which had been highest in numbers in the world,
are declining due to a variety of factors. We need to recruit international
students in new markets, in countries where the economies are growing
(for example, in South Africa). Payne also advocated recruiting international
students to study in diverse areas of the U.S., to those states that
host relatively small numbers of international students.
Panelist 2: Mr. Peter
C. Thorp, Vice President, Corporate University Relations and Educational
I am a strong supporter of
international education. Citicorp is about globalism. The corporation
must support the franchise; it is not interested in old-fashioned philanthropy.
Citicorp receives benefits by supporting education from the employment
angle - that is, to recruit bright, well-educated employees, and to
better position their businesses worldwide. Creating partnerships, creating
ties, can make things happen for business. The company puts nearly $6
million annually into higher education programs. Citibank has a worldwide
interest in education and economic development. The demand for MBA programs
remains steady. Those MBA graduates are appearing all over the world.
Investments in education can be very long term investments in the economies
and leadership of foreign countries.
3: Dr. Jacquelyn Belcher, President, DeKalb College
to be a tremendous lack of understanding about community colleges among
the U.S. public and even within the higher education community. Meanwhile,
the number of international students coming to community colleges has
grown by 9 percent compared with a 2 percent decrease in the number
of international students attending four-year institutions. Community
colleges can be a solution to the problem of decreasing numbers of international
students coming to the U.S. The growing interest of community colleges
in international education can be attributed to the involvement of the
U.S. in international business; the increase in cultural diversity in
the general population and subsequently on college campuses; and the
substantial presence of international students, immigrants, and refugees
in community colleges.
Is the U.S. higher
education commitment to international education still strong or have
we stopped pushing the limits of expanding connections? Certainly community
colleges do not feel that they have lost the edge. There is expanding
involvement by community colleges in international partnerships: approximately
48 percent of community colleges are involved in exchanges and/or study
abroad, and 79 percent of these institutions have internationalized
the curriculum in some way.
can realize numerous benefits from having international students on
our campuses. Continuing to attract international students to the U.S.
requires commitment, tenacity and caring. It is important to advocate
on campuses about the importance of these students, especially to the
president because it is the president of each institution who will decide
about committing the necessary funding for international programs.
Steven Trachtenberg, President, George Washington University, "The Lost
Edge? An Action Plan for Recapturing U.S. Leadership"
At one time,
American students seldom studied abroad unless supported by scholarships,
while controversies between traditionalists and non-traditionalists
over college and university curricula played a part in attracting large
numbers of foreign students to U.S. institutions. Foreign leaders and
countries studied the American educational system because it was such
a pervasive system so profoundly tied to American economic development.
This mega-university' is administered in a totally decentralized manner,
operating in a mostly voluntary fashion. It keeps its parts synchronized
and interchangeable so that a community college graduate in Illinois
can get a B.A. in Los Angeles, an MBA in Texas, and a first job in Virginia.
Meanwhile, faculty in research-oriented universities not only teach
but serve as the ceaseless analysts of the entire U.S. national system.
The rest of the world looks to the United States for assistance in catching
up with the American-style higher education system (most of which is
controlled by the 50 states) and with a national economy the likes of
which the world has never seen. Meanwhile, foreigners' high regard is
viewed with bewilderment by the American people. The history of modern
American higher education is a story that is dying to be told.