IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - (Page 28)

Feature Programmatic Diversity Versus Unplanned Information Flows By Georg Schütte While nondiscrimination is a policy objective widely accepted in the academic systems of democratically constituted countries, there are underlying currents and mechanisms shaping the international mobility of researchers that constitute almost natural, but in certain cases also political, limits to achieving that objective. The case of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany illustrates some of the underlying currents that result in continuity or inertia rather than diversity in the composition of international researchers coming to Germany. Other sponsorship programs based on individual merit, such as, for example, the Fulbright Scholar Program, face similar challenges. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is a privately chartered but publicly funded German organization that sponsors postdoctoral and advanced researchers from all over the world who come to Germany for extended periods of research. Each year the foundation receives several thousand applications and nominations for its programs and grants up to 500 Humboldt research fellowships and 100 research awards. Counting also the fel28 lows sponsored in the elaborate followup sponsorship program, the Foundation sponsors almost 2,000 international researchers in Germany each year. The Foundation’s bylaws state that the Foundation shall grant its fellowships and awards regardless of the country of origin or residence of the applicant or his or her ethnic origin, religious affiliation, or academic discipline. The selection of grantees shall rather be based on the personal qual- ification of the researcher. It is the Foundation’s objective to identify the best researchers from a given country or a given world region to do research in Germany. But in a very pragmatic sense, here is the first problem: How can one identify the best and brightest in a geographic region? To be more precise, one has to admit that one can only identify the best and brightest in a pool of applicants. Thus the question is how academics all

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Fall 2005

IIE Networker - Fall 2005
Contents
Message from Allan E. Goodman
Up Front: The International Education Diary
Study Abroad for Students of Color
Programmatic Diversity Versus Unplanned Information Flows
Nurturing Leadership and Social Change: The Mission of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program
Study Abroad
Study Abroad
Africa
Australia
Science and Engineering
Students with Disability
The Browser: Index of Advertisers

IIE Networker - Fall 2005

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