Latin America's New Knowledge Economy: Higher Education, Government, and International Collaboration

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New IIE Book Explores Changes in Latin America Higher Ed

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Latin America’s New Knowledge Economy chronicles educational and economic development

NEW YORK, February 11, 2013—A new book published by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) Foundation reviews the policies, institutions, and programs that have helped bring about major changes in higher education for Latin America.

Latin America’s New Knowledge Economy: Higher Education, Government, and International Collaboration chronicles the rapid economic growth and social changes that have taken place across the region in recent years, and examines these developments through the lens of higher education.  In the book, leading scholars from Latin America and the U.S. explore factors that have been catalysts for higher education reforms such as increased access and equity, emphasis on international study, and investment by foreign universities and corporations.

“Leaders who seek to build a strong knowledge economy in their countries know that investment in higher education is the key to this growth,” said Allan Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education. “We hope this book will encourage educators and policymakers in Latin America and the United States to engage in educational relationships that foster further higher education opportunities between the two regions.”

“Changing paradigms in Latin America’s higher education system, as well as demographic shifts in the United States, have led to an increase in educational exchange opportunities,” said William L. Gertz, AIFS President and CEO. “Latin America’s New Knowledge Economy illustrates how these opportunities have come about.”

Latin America’s New Knowledge Economy is edited by noted Latin American scholar Jorge Balán, senior research scholar and adjunct professor at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Analyses in the book show how learning, research, institution-building, and community engagement have become top priorities for many governments across Latin America in the past ten years. Balán’s introduction provides historical and comparative context and reflects on the major dilemmas that higher education policy in the region has faced.

Chapters in Latin America’s New Knowledge Economy examines the following topics: governance structure of Latin American public institutions; higher education and workforce development; the role of national study abroad scholarship programs; increasing access and equity; trends in student and academic mobility; new roles for U.S. universities in the Latin American higher education system; U.S. academic exchanges; research universities in Brazil; and the Brazil scientific mobility program, of which IIE is a partner.  

IIE has a long history of work in Latin America. In the early 1930s, the organization established a Latin America Division at its New York headquarters. It opened its Latin America regional office in Mexico City in 1974. Over the years, the Institute’s work in the Western Hemisphere has grown to include a number of dynamic initiatives related to higher education, scholarship, and fellowship programs, promoting study abroad, workforce and professional development, institutional partnership building, educational advising, and English language testing.

In recent years, IIE has launched partnerships with a number of organizations and government agencies to build global talent in Latin America, to undertake new research, develop strategic higher education links, and engage leaders in dialogue on the role of higher education institutions as incubators of innovation, workforce development, and international discourse. The Government of Brazil partnered with IIE to administer the undergraduate portion of President Dilma Rousseff’s Ciencia sem Fronteiras initiative (Brazil Scientific Mobility Program) in the United States, which allows students to complete up to one year of non-degree study, in addition to an academic training and internship component.

Latin America’s New Knowledge Economy is the seventh book in the Global Education Research Reports series from IIE and the AIFS Foundation. Previous books have examined higher education initiatives and exchanges in China, India, and the Middle East, as well as new developments in global mobility.

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About the Institute of International Education

IIE is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 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. IIE’s Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education assists higher education institutions in developing and sustaining partnerships around the world. Some of its major initiatives include the International Academic Partnership Program (IAPP) and the IIE Global Partnership Service (GPS).

About the American Institute For Foreign Study Foundation

AIFS Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charity, was established in 1967 to help young people from many nations and diverse cultures to better understand one another. The AIFS Foundation provides grants to high schools and institutions to encourage international and educational travel. The AIFS Foundation also sponsors the Academic Year in America (AYA) program, which enables international teenage students to live with an American host family while attending the local high school.

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