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Rice, Education Secretary To Host International Education Summit

U.S. university presidents to focus on attracting foreign students, scholars

Posted: December 29, 2005

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings will co-host the U.S. University Presidents Summit on International Education, a forum to renew partnerships to strengthen international education, the State Department announced December 28.

The January 5-6, 2006, summit, organized by the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), will initiate a dialogue with leaders of U.S. higher education on the need for government and nongovernmental officials to work collaboratively toward a national vision for the future of U.S. higher education.

"Through this Summit, Secretary Rice and Secretary Spellings and their respective Departments want to reach out to college and university presidents to reinforce a common interest in attracting foreign students and scholars to U.S. institutions," Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes said in the announcement. "Of equal importance is seeking investment in educating globally competitive U.S. students to work in fields of international interest."

The summit will focus on how to attract foreign students and scholars to study in the United States, as well as how to encourage more U.S. students to study in other countries, according to the announcement.

During the 2004-2005 academic year, 565,039 foreign students enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions, down 1.3 percent from the previous year's totals, according to the Open Doors 2005, an annual report on international academic mobility. (See related article.)

Summit participants will mirror the richness and diversity of the higher education system in the United States, coming from all 50 states, and will include leading public and private research institutions, as well as community colleges, historically black institutions, Hispanic-serving institutions, religiously affiliated institutions and women's colleges, the announcement said.

Participants plan to discuss marketing of U.S. higher education programs abroad, reaching out to underserved populations, understanding visa and regulatory processes, cooperating to meet exchange priorities and utilizing fully the international education resources of community colleges.

For information on studying in the United States, see ECA’s EducationUSA Web site and the related article, “Global Network Providing Resources on Study in United States.”

For more information on visa procedures and traveling to the United States, see www.travel.state.gov and the State Department electronic journal See You in the U.S.A.

Below is the text of the State Department announcement with further details:

(begin text)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
December 28, 2005

MEDIA NOTE

U.S. Departments of State and Education to Host U.S. University Presidents Summit

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings will co-host the U.S. University Presidents Summit on International Education January 5-6, 2006, in Washington, DC. The Secretaries will engage leaders of U.S. higher education in a renewed partnership to strengthen international education, emphasizing its importance to the national interest. Secretaries Rice and Spellings have called this Summit, organized by the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, to initiate a dialogue on the need for government to work collaboratively with the non-governmental sector on the future of U.S. higher education in a global arena.

"Through this Summit, Secretary Rice and Secretary Spellings and their respective Departments want to reach out to college and university presidents to reinforce a common interest in attracting foreign students and scholars to U.S. institutions," notes Karen Hughes, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. "Of equal importance is seeking investment in educating globally competitive U.S. students to work in fields of international interest."

Summit attendees will represent the full richness and diversity of the higher education system in the United States, coming from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and will include leading public and private research institutions, as well as community colleges, historically black institutions, Hispanic-serving institutions, religiously affiliated institutions, and women's colleges. Also invited are the principal presidential higher education associations and the heads of the federal science and humanities bodies.

The Summit will focus on how to attract foreign students and scholars to study in the United States, as well as how to encourage more American students to receive part of their education abroad. In addition, participants will discuss marketing of U.S. higher education programs abroad, reaching out to underserved populations, understanding visa and regulatory processes, cooperating to meet exchange priorities, and utilizing fully the international education resources of community colleges. The Summit will also draw attention to the key investments required to strengthen international higher education for Americans, including increasing access to study abroad, encouraging non-traditional study abroad locations, strengthening non-traditional language acquisition, developing dynamic international strategies at U.S. universities and colleges, and engaging the public and private sectors in a shared national vision for the future.

For further information, contact:
Nicole Deaner, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, 202-203-7613
Adam Meier, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, 202-203-7026
Chad Colby, Department of Education, 202-401-1576

(end text)


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