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over the world learn about these sponsorship opportunities? Motivations for academic mobility in general differ depending on the individual career stage. Students follow the footsteps of their academic teachers. They look for compatible course and degree structures, a teaching language they can understand or acquire in a given period of time, affordable tuition fees and living costs, and a reputable place to live. They learn about international programs through their professors, through international offices on their campuses, at educational fairs, in magazines, through advertisings and mailings, or from their friends. Researchers’ motivations to go to other places are different. They look for the stars in their respective academic discipline. They go to places where they find excellent colleagues and a stimulating research environment, advanced technical equipment and good access to material and immaterial research resources. Internationally mobile faculty learn about research opportunities at conferences, through scientific and scholarly literature, but mainly through personal contacts to colleagues at home and abroad. Thus, it is a matter of information flows within the peer group which, apart from active recruitment on the “market” for postdoctoral researchers, predisposes the pool of people who apply for a given scholarship program. Over the last 40 years, for example, the highest number of applications the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation received came from physicists and chemists. The major reason for this continuity certainly is the international reputation and the high quality of the research being done in these fields in Germany. And yet, there are also long-standing information flows from German academic hosts in these fields to their international colleagues who contribute to a constant influx of applications in these fields. Selection committee members are important gatekeepers in this process. Due to the high numbers of applications received in these fields, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation recruits a large number of researchers from these academic disciplines to review and decide upon these applications. Besides serving on the selection committees, these academics are also important sources of information about sponsorship opportunities. They closely identify with the cause of international mobility. Oftentimes they were elected or coopted members of the committees because they have a personal background of international exposure in the first place. Thus they spread the news about these programs within their peer groups—and thereby reinforcing the predominance of certain academic disciplines within the program. The same holds true for gender diversity. In many countries, there still is an increasingly lower share of women the higher you climb the ladder of academic posts and achievements. Again, the composition of selection committees is an important variable in achieving an adequate share of women grantees. But as long as women are a minority, there will be a high demand for female selection committee members—if gender diversity is an organizational policy objective. Simply put, they are difficult to get. No matter how female committee members decide on individual cases of female applicants, just like their male colleagues, they do play an important role in spreading the information about sponsorship opportunities to women in their peer group. Finally, information flows also influence the international composition of an applicant pool. In countries with strong alumni groups of any given sponsorship program, there is a higher chance that those programs are brought to the attention of the next generation of researchers willing to go abroad. But despite these unplanned information flows, which limit diversity, there is room for change. In the 1960s, for example, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation received the largest number of applications from U.S. and Japanese researchers. In the 1980s, Polish researchers sought Humboldt Research fellowships because West Germany was one of the few countries where they were allowed to go. After the fall of the “iron curtain,” researchers from the former Soviet Union were at the top of the list. And since the turn of the millennium, researchers from China and India have been sending the largest number of applications to the Foundation. These patterns reflect local as well as global historical and political changes. Academic exchanges follow these political currents and may actually precede them. The sponsorship of Polish researchers, for example, contributed to educating a scientific and social elite in Poland who played an important role during and after the political changes in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The changing ethnic and demographic composition of the United States, for example, with an increasing share of families with nonEuropean backgrounds, certainly affects mobility patterns between the United States and Europe. While internal information flows in peer groups are natural and hard to affect, and while geopolitical changes are only partially dependent on academic exchanges, measures can be taken to increase diversity. Diversity within selection committees is one of these measures. Active promotion of programs to reach out to certain academic fields may be another way to promote diversity. Special sponsorship programs for researchers from certain countries can contribute to creating a critical mass of alumni in a world region, which then no longer needs this special type of support. In general, large applicant pools from any country call for active diversity control if an organization wishes to have at least some degree of national diversity in its program. In addition, general policy guidelines may contribute to diversity. The European Commission, for example, only recently issued a Charter for the Mobility of Researchers, which establishes the rights and duties of researchers and their employers, while taking into account various forms of diversity in academic careers throughout Europe. This Charter will certainly affect the future design of the Commission’s sponsorship programs. Thus, diversity never is an objective in and of itself. It has to be specified and measures have to be redefined in different historical situations to achieve different patterns of diversity. Dr. Georg Schütte is Secretary General of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn, Germany.

IIE Networker - Fall 2005

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

IIE Networker - Fall 2005
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
Science and Engineering
Students with Disability
The Browser: Index of Advertisers
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - IIE Networker - Fall 2005
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - Cover2
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 3
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - Contents
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 5
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 6
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - Message from Allan E. Goodman
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - Up Front: The International Education Diary
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 9
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 10
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 11
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 12
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 13
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 14
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 15
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - Study Abroad for Students of Color
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 17
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 18
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 19
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IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 24
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 25
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IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 27
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - Programmatic Diversity Versus Unplanned Information Flows
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 29
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 30
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 31
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - Nurturing Leadership and Social Change: The Mission of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 33
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 34
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 35
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - Study Abroad
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IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 38
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - Study Abroad
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 40
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 41
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - Africa
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IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - Australia
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IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - Science and Engineering
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IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 50
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 51
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - Students with Disability
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IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 54
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 55
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 56
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - The Browser: Index of Advertisers
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - 58
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - Cover3
IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - Cover4