IIE Networker - Fall 2009 - (Page 11)

PUBLIC DIPLOMACY Public Diplomacy and Academic Exchange: Policy Priorities of the New Administration Presentation at IIE’s 4th Annual Best Practices Conference (New York, March 19, 2009) by Marianne Craven, U.S. Department of State GOOD AFTERNOON. I want to thank our host, the Institute of International Education—President Allan Goodman and Executive Vice President Peggy Blumenthal—for inviting me to speak at this year’s Best Practices Seminar and for their collaboration with the State Department on many of our exchange activities. This conference is an important venue for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, where we can talk about our priorities for exchanges and participate in a conversation with you – the leaders in international education – about our shared goals, and about emerging issues and opportunities for those of us who work on these programs. Much has changed in the past year. There is a great deal of enthusiasm overseas about the new Administration, leading some (such as The Guardian newspaper) to speculate that foreign students will flock to study in the U.S. as a result. With the numbers of students flowing in both directions already at historic highs as reported in the Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange last November, this would clearly continue a strong “good news” trend for academic mobility. We’re optimistic about the outlook for educational exchanges under the leadership of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. At the same time, the economic crisis is shifting the landscape for our partners, stakeholders and the participants in our exchanges: American institutions and their overseas counterparts, faculty and students and their families. Public Diplomacy in the Obama Administration Before we get into that discussion, I’d like to give you an update on what’s happening at the State Department in the area of exchanges and public diplomacy. Without speaking “for” or “on behalf of” our new leadership, and those still to be appointed to oversee ECA’s work, the indications so far are that exchanges and international education programs will be a priority in the new administration. In our discussions as part of the transition, new officials have expressed enthusiasm for ECA’s work and for our expanded efforts in such areas as Fulbright, Gilman, English teaching and educational advising. President Obama has identified his years in Indonesia, and later travels, as critical to shaping his views on America’s role in the world. “If you don’t understand these cultures, then it’s very hard for you to make good foreign-policy decisions,” he said in 2007. “The benefit of my life in having both lived overseas and traveled overseas… is that I have a better sense of how they’re thinking and what their society is really like.” He has also spoken about the importance of a quality education and the need for every American to obtain post-secondary education to be competitive in today’s world. At the University of Tokyo, Secretary Clinton said we had, “a very rich education exchange between Japan and the United States going back years. The Fulbright Program, the Japanese Education Exchange Program. There are just so many opportunities. But we should be looking for new ways that, particularly young people from our two countries can work together on development projects or clean energy projects. Because as we deepen our relationship on a governmentto-government basis, it’s critically important that it not just stay up here, but that it go all the way down.” During her stop in the West Bank in March, Secretary Clinton met with a group of students in ECA’s English Access Microscholarship Program, which was created in 2004 to teach English to disadvantaged high school students and has reached 44,000 students in 55 countries around the world to date. Among the topics of discussion, in English, between Secretary Clinton, the students and the teacher of the class, were women’s history month, the career of U.S. astronaut Sally Ride and opportunities and responsibilities for women. After meeting with the students, she stressed the importance of keeping them engaged in learning English and furthering their education, including opportunities to study in the United States. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with U.S. Government grantees in Oaxaca, Mexico. So we believe that ECA’s programs are well understood and appreciated, and that our efforts to expand outreach to younger, underserved and diverse populations through exchanges and education programs, will be sustained by our new leadership. Our creation of a “continuum” of exchange opportunities that reach out to young, broader, diverse and disadvantaged populations and those who influence them—through English teaching programs, community college scholarships, student leader institutes and semester and academic year programs for undergraduates, educational advising about U.S. higher education and opportunity grants to pay upfront costs of applying for U.S. study, advising centers providing facilitative assistance and advice to American colleges and universities seeking to increase study abroad opportunities for their students, expanded 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Fall 2009

IIE Networker - Fall 2009
Contents
Message from Allan E. Goodman
News
Public Diplomacy and Academic Exchange: Policy Priorities of the New Administration
Student Mobility Trends in Latin America
Promoting Inclusiveness in Higher Education in Latin America: A Policy Response
IIENetworker University Presidents Interview Series
Student Recruitment in the Caribbean: New Strategies for Cooperation
Bridging Borders: A Project for the Development and Diversification of Higher Learning Institutions in the United States and Haiti
Recent Challenges to Study Abroad in Mexico: Economic Crisis, Security Risks, H1N1
Special Feature: International Education Initiatives in Latin America
New York City and Sao Paulo, Public Policy and Business: A New Dual Degree Partnership
The Browser: Advertisers' Index
IIE Program Profile: The IIE Regional Office for Latin America

IIE Networker - Fall 2009

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