Press Release

IIE Announces Research Policy Initiative

Assessing Capacity to Send 1 Million U.S. Students Abroad
An Institute of International Education Policy Research Initiative
The Institute of International Education is committed to increasing the number and diversity of American students studying abroad and has proposed doubling the number by the end of the decade. Speaking at the United Nations during IIE's “Best Practices” Conference last Friday, IIE President Allan Goodman announced a new policy research initiative to provide policy makers and practitioners with substantive data and recommendations on how to achieve those expanded numbers, diversify the destinations to which they go, and substantially expand the capacity of host institutions to receive them.

Through its extensive networks in US higher education and internationally, IIE will consult key groups of US educators and study abroad administrators, as well as international partner organizations and universities, to examine the capacity to send and host a greatly increased number of US students abroad. IIE will conduct focused leadership dialogs and surveys of key groups, review previously identified barriers, assess existing constraints on expansion, and issue recommendations on steps needed at each level to meet the challenges and overcome constraints while also insuring the high quality of the study abroad experience.

U.S. campuses continue to expand their commitment to study abroad, and the number of American students abroad annually now exceeds 200,000, according to the latest Open Doors data published by IIE. But in a US student population of over 14 million, there remains a huge unmet opportunity to expand American students’ international experience, and an even greater challenge to ensure that access to study abroad is available to all, including students of diverse backgrounds and low incomes.

The recent Lincoln Commission report has pointed out how critical it is to America’s competitiveness and national security to provide more students with international experience, and lays out the ambitious goal of sending 1 million students abroad each year by the year 2017. The report also notes the need to address the issue of capacity abroad (especially in non-traditional destinations) to host so many American students, and to assure that U.S. campuses have the resources and structure available to prepare and send them. In launching a new policy research initiative to assess these capacity issues, the Institute aims to assist higher education institutions in the U.S. and their international partners to expand capacity and meet this global education challenge.

IIE Study Abroad White Paper Series: Meeting America's Global Education Challenge

Through a series of surveys and dialogs, the Institute of International Education is launching a new policy research initiative address the issue of capacity abroad (especially in non-traditional destinations) to host so many American students, and to assure that U.S. campuses have the resources and structures available to prepare and send them.

This new IIE initiative will offer educators and policymakers focused data and information on current capabilities and future capacity, as well as recommendations for action to maximize resources and pave the way for substantial study abroad growth.

To learn more and to download the first White Paper in this series, Current Trends in U.S. Study Abroad & the Impact of Strategic Diversity Initiatives, click here.

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Media Contacts

Sharon Witherell
Director, Public Affairs
Tel: +1 212.984.5380

Maria Baum
Media Relations Specialist
Tel: +1 212.984.5360

IIE Experts

IIE experts on international education are available for interviews or speaking engagements.

Dr. Allan E. Goodman
President and CEO

Peggy Blumenthal 
Senior Counselor to the President