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Institute of International Education Selects Pilot Group for New International Academic Partnerships Program

First Cohort of Ten Colleges and Universities to Build Bridges with Indian Institutions

NEW YORK, March 19, 2010—At its 5th Annual Best Practices Conference in New York today, the Institute of International Education announced the ten colleges and universities that were selected to participate in the pilot group for the International Academic Partnerships Program (IAPP). This new initiative is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), and is one of the first major programs of IIE’s new Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education.

The Institute’s Best Practices Conference, sponsored by Educational Testing Service, the Embassy of Spain and the Partner University Fund, was attended by more than 150 international education professionals from college and university campuses in the United States and abroad. Alina Romanowski, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Academic Programs for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, gave the keynote address. The pilot group of ten U.S. campuses selected to participate in IAPP was announced during a special plenary session on developing institutional linkages with India.

The U.S. institutions that were selected are: California State University - San Bernardino, College of William and Mary, Florida Atlantic University, Oakland Community College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Spelman College, St. Cloud State University, The University of Tulsa, University of South Carolina and Winston Salem State University. These campuses were chosen from a competitive candidate pool of more than 75 nominations and represent the breadth of U.S. institutions. They include historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), women’s colleges, large research universities and liberal arts colleges. The group was selected by an advisory committee of experts in the field to help guide the new partnership program.

Over the course of the next year, these ten institutions will participate in a number of training activities and webinars focused on implementing and sustaining partnerships and will join a study tour to India in the fall to meet with potential Indian partner campuses. They have committed to forming a campus task force to work on prospective partnerships, conducting an institution-wide inventory of activities pertaining to India, and developing a strategic plan focused on partnership with India.

IAPP is one of several IIE initiatives targeted at strengthening higher education bonds between the U.S. and India. Earlier this month, IIE’s President Dr. Allan Goodman and Dr. Martha Kanter, the Under Secretary of Education, led a delegation of U.S. higher education leaders in a week-long visit to India, to promote U.S. higher education and to expand linkages with Indian higher education institutions. During that visit, IIE released International India: A Turning Point in Educational Exchange with the U.S., the third in a series of Global Education Research Reports published with support from the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) Foundation, bringing together the perspectives of Indian and U.S. specialists to focus on U.S.-India higher education exchanges at a critical moment in this important relationship. 

"It is clear from the high level of interest we have seen from U.S. and Indian colleges and universities that institutions in both countries are very eager to develop linkages to internationalize their campuses," said IIE President and CEO Dr. Allan E. Goodman. "The IAPP initiative will provide important tools and expertise both to the ten selected institutions and to the many other campuses seeking to expand U.S.-Indian academic partnerships. We are looking forward to working with this selected group of very engaged and dedicated institutions, and to sharing best practices widely."

The International Academic Partnership Program will focus its initial activities on two key countries, India and China, which are the two leading places of origin for international students in the United States. These countries have also seen dramatic increases in hosting U.S. study abroad students in recent years, 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.

India has been the leading place of origin of international students in the United States since 2001/02. There were more than 103,000 international students from India studying in the U.S. in 2008/09, an increase of 9 percent from the previous year. Students from China, the second leading sender, increased by 21 percent to more than 98,500. The numbers of students from the United States studying abroad in China and India have also increased rapidly in recent years, although from a smaller base. According to the latest Open Doors data, U.S. institutions awarded academic credit to more than 13,000 U.S. students studying in China in 2007/08 and more than 3,000 U.S. students studying in India; both totals represented increases of almost 20 percent over the previous year.

Since 1950, more than 5,000 Indian students and scholars have come to the U.S. and more than 3,100 American teachers, scholars, and students have gone to India since 1950 through the Fulbright program. The U.S. and Indian Governments recently signed a historic new Fulbright agreement, effectively doubling the number of Fulbright-Nehru grants for American and Indian students and scholars.

Given this dramatic growth in exchanges and the increasing priority all three countries have placed on internationalization of higher education and expanded academic collaboration, higher education institutions are increasingly seeking out partnerships with counterparts to enhance the study abroad opportunities for their students, expand curricular offerings, advance joint research, and prepare their students with the international experiences and cross-cultural tools needed in their careers. However, many institutions face significant challenges in navigating education systems in other countries, identifying appropriate partners and developing effective institutional partnership strategies.

To meet the growing demand for guidance in creating international partnerships, IAPP will identify and share best practices in academic linkages, conduct study tours to India and China to explore partnership opportunities, and create an online International Academic Partnership portal to provide training materials and information resources on establishing institutional partnerships, guided by an expert advisory group. The IAPP activities will focus on China in 2011, and applications for the China program will be available online at www.iie.org in September.

During the Best Practices Conference where the IAPP participating institutions were announced, IIE also honored the winners of the ninth annual IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education. Winning campuses for 2010 were: Georgia Institute of Technology (GA) for internationalizing the campus – special focus on engineering; Angelo State University (TX) and Washington & Jefferson College (PA), for study abroad, and College of Lake County (IL) for study abroad at the community college.  In the category of International Exchange Partnerships, the winning initiative is a partnership between California Institute of Technology (CA) and École Polytechnique (France). Honorable mention went to University of Colorado at Boulder (CO), Howard Community College (MD), and a partnership between North Carolina State University (NC) and Université Paul Cézanne-IAE Aix-en-Provence (France). The awards were established to honor the most outstanding initiatives in international higher education among the members of IIENetwork, IIE’s association of more than 1,000 member institutions.

Learn more about the Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education.

Purchase International India: A Turning Point in Educational Exchange with the U.S.

Visit IIE’s Best Practices in Internationalization website for profiles of the IIE Andrew Heiskell Award winning initiatives.

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 over 20 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.

The Institute of International Education has been engaged with higher education in India for over 50 years and has had an office in New Delhi since 2005. IIE India works closely with businesses, governments, and non-governmental organizations in the region, and has developed and implemented a strong set of activities in higher education scholarship administration, leadership development, and critical development fields, including energy.

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