International Education Week Set for November
The U.S. Departments of Education and State have joined NAFSA: Association of International Educators and a diverse group of organizations worldwide to declare the second annual International Education Week. This year’s national celebration of the importance of international education and exchange will take place Nov. 12-16.
“International educators are encouraged by the Bush administration’s support for International Education Week,” says Marlene Johnson, NAFSA’s executive director. “This week is an important way for us to energize a national dialogue on the importance of international education and exchange. We must recognize that as a nation, we cannot afford to lead without a knowledge and understanding of the world.”
The weeklong observance is part of an increase in national attention to the importance of a global education for Americans. The issue has also gained momentum as a national policy priority, with the introduction of resolutions in both the House and Senate calling for an international education policy for the United States.
In expressing his agency’s support for the observance, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell highlighted the important foreign policy role of American colleges and universities in education foreign students.
“I can think of no more valuable asset to our country than the friendship of future world leaders who have been educated here,” Powell says.
Education Secretary Rod Paige noted the importance of a global education for all students.
“If we expect students to navigate international waters, we need to give them an international education that meets the highest standards…,” he says.
Secretary Powell has invited all U.S. ambassadors to participate in the week’s events, and NAFSA is working with its nearly 9,000 members worldwide to plan events to mark the occasion. NAFSA’s Cooperative Grants Program, funded by the State Department’s Bureau of Cultural Affairs, will award nearly $15,000 in grants for campus- and community-based projects designed to commemorate the event.
Last fall, ambassadorial school visits, scholarship dedications, cultural presentations and international festivals were some of the ways the nation celebrated the week. Former Secretary of Education Richard Riley and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright officially declared the observance as part of the implementation of then-President Clinton’s directive calling for an international education policy for the United States.
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