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Press Release

The Institute of International Education Selects Ten U.S. Colleges and Universities for Partnership Program with China

NEW YORK, January 14, 2011—The Institute of International Education announced today that ten U.S. institutions of higher education will participate in the 2011 China initiative of the International Academic Partnerships Program (IAPP). This initiative is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), and is run by IIE’s Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education.

An independent peer review panel of six experts selected the U.S. colleges and universities for the program based on an interest in building ties with institutions in China, a clear presentation of how the program would help them achieve their aims, and a demonstrated need for the assistance that the IAPP would provide. The selected campuses include: Greenville Technical College, Jacksonville State University, Lake Washington Technical College, Marymount Manhattan College, Saginaw Valley State University, Southern Methodist University, State University of New York at Fredonia, The College of New Jersey, University of Southern Indiana and Utah Valley University.

Over the next year, these ten institutions will participate in an integrated series of training activities, focused on implementing and sustaining partnerships with institutions in China, and a study tour to China in spring 2011 to meet with potential partner campuses. Each participating institution has committed to forming a campus task force to work on prospective partnerships, conducting an institution-wide inventory of activities pertaining to China and developing a strategic plan focused on partnership with China. Partnership activities may include joint programs, student exchanges or faculty linkages for collaborative research and teaching. Through IAPP programming, such as webinars, workshops and site visits, IIE seeks to establish a toolkit of best practices for international partnerships in different parts of the world.

“Educational ties are key to strengthening the productive relationship between China and the U.S.,” said IIE President Allan E. Goodman. “Developing partnerships in higher education helps us understand and learn from one another in ways that have profound impact. For global leaders to innovate and solve problems together in the future, they must work together in classrooms, research labs and dormitories now. Through joint research, we will be able to find better solutions to shared global challenges.”

The IIE Center for International Partnerships launched IAPP in 2009 as a two year initiative, with the pilot group focused on building partnerships between the U.S. and India. Ten U.S. institutions participated in the first year as well, and their experience culminated with a study tour to India that coincided with President Obama’s Indian visit in November 2010. IAPP China will build on the success of the first year with India, harnessing new lessons learned from year one, and continuing to leverage IIE’s expertise in international higher education.

China and India are the two leading places of origin for international students in the United States according to IIE's Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, an annual research project supported by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. China was the leading place of origin for international students in the U.S. in academic year 2009/10, with 127,628 students from China studying in the U.S., accounting for more than 18% of the total international student population. According to Open Doors 2010, the number of international students at colleges and universities in the U.S. increased by 3% to 690,923 during 2009/10, a record high number of international students in the U.S. that was primarily driven by a 30% increase in Chinese student enrollment in the United States.

Open Doors 2010 reports an increase of 4% in the number of U.S. students studying abroad in China. In academic year 2008/09, the latest year for which data is available, more than 13,600 U.S. students studied abroad in China, making it the fifth most popular study abroad destination for students from the United States. The number of U.S. students studying abroad in China has more than doubled since 2004/05.

IAPP is one of several IIE initiatives targeted at strengthening higher education bonds between the U.S. and China. IIE is actively supporting the U.S State Department’s “100,000 Strong” initiative that seeks to increase the number of U.S. students studying in China to 100,000 over the next few years, as part of the Obama Administration’s broader strategy to increase people-to-people engagement around the world. As part of “100,000 Strong,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is urging U.S. colleges and universities to double the number of their students who study in China by 2014.

Helping campuses to meet that challenge, IIE recently announced the re-launch of the Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA), with a generous grant of $2 million from the Freeman Foundation. Over the past decade, more than 4,000 American undergraduates with financial need received support to study in East and Southeast Asia. More than one-third of Freeman-ASIA grantees studied in China and returned to campus to conduct outreach projects, encouraging thousands of their peers to study abroad in China. The renewed Freeman Foundation support will provide awards for hundreds more American undergraduates to study in East/Southeast Asia over the next two academic years.

In support of “100,000 Strong,” IIE is also publishing IIEPassport Study Abroad in China, a special edition in IIE's long-standing series of IIEPassport Study Abroad Directories, that includes 350 programs open to U.S. graduate and undergraduate students offered by the U.S. and Chinese governments, third party providers, private foundations and U.S. higher education institutions. This magazine, produced in partnership with Lonely Planet and Naylor Publications, features information on scholarships and funding resources to study abroad in China, advice from students who have studied in China and articles about the efforts both the U.S. and Chinese governments are making to promote U.S.-China exchange. 

Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices worldwide and over 1,000 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.