September 18, 1998
Release No. 49-98

CONTACT: Catherine Stearns
PHONE: (202) 401-1190

United States Information Agency

- News Release


Washington, D.C. — U.S. Leadership in International Education: The Lost Edge? will be held at the Department of State, September 24th, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. "How can the United States retain the lead in recruiting foreign students to American colleges and universities?" is the question to be answered by heads of American educational institutions, businesses, and government at this summit conference.

This event is co-sponsored by the United States Information Agency (USIA) and the Educational Testing Service (ETS), and will feature Former Secretary of Defense William Perry, Former Governor of Mississippi Ray Mabus, Citibank Vice President Peter Thorp, Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ), Institute of International Education President and CEO Allan Goodman, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators Executive Director Marlene Johnson, among others.

U.S. colleges and universities enroll nearly 500,000 international students a year. These students are an integral component of international diplomacy, broadening the intellectual and social climate of American campuses while bringing American culture, business sense, and technological and scientific achievements to their native countries. These students also contribute to the U.S. economy $8 billion annually via student tuition, fees, and living expenses. But the U.S. share of international students has dropped 20 percent since the 1980s. Other countries actively recruit these students through coordinated national strategies, while the U.S. has no such strategy or policy. This summit conference will bring together academia and the public and private sectors to discuss the situation in this country and begin formulating a plan of action.

Director of USIA Joseph Duffey, who will open the conference, said, "International students bring unique features to American colleges and universities which are important to U.S. relations around the world. The knowledge of other cultures which these students bring to American youth, and the understanding of the U.S. which they take back to their own countries helps form the basis for future contacts between the United States and the rest of the world. Many of these students go on to become world leaders. For all of these reasons, it is critical to maintain this form of international exchange."

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United States Information Agency, 301 4th Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20547
Tel: (202) 619-4355, Fax: (202) 619-6988

Media representatives interested in attending the conference or who would like a copy of the conference White Paper by Ted Sanders, President of Southern Illinois University, please contact USIA at the number listed above.

The United States Information Agency, headed by Dr. Joseph Duffey, is an independent foreign affairs agency within the executive branch that explains and supports U.S. foreign policy and national security interests abroad through a wide range of exchange and information programs. The Agency promotes mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through a series of educational and cultural exchange activities.

USIA's programs include the Voice of America, Radio and TV Martí, the WORLDNET satellite television system, the daily Washington File newswire, the Fulbright scholarship program, the International Visitor Program, the Speakers and Specialists Program, three Foreign Press Centers in the United States, and a network of overseas resource and cultural centers. The Agency has 190 posts in 141 countries.

The USIA domestic server can be accessed through or through most search engines on the Internet.


ETS is the world's premier educational measurement institution and a leader in educational research. A nonprofit organization, ETS develops and administers achievement, occupational, and admissions tests for clients in education, government, and business.

ETS and its subsidiary, The Chauncey Group International, annually administer 9 million tests in the United States and 180 other countries.

For further information, access the ETS web site at

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