Opening Minds

  • IIE Tips to Welcome International Students

    IIE’s team of experts put together a list of 11 actions to take this month to encourage international students to make the U.S. their first choice

  • International Education and National Policymaking: How Does It Work?

    While the impact of international education on career and personal development is indisputable, evidence on the impact on the national public sphere, particularly in marginalized communities, has yet to be ascertained. How can international fellowship and scholarship programs influence policymaking?

  • Celebrating the Fulbright Program's First 70 Years by Recognizing Alumni Achievement and Impact

    At the Institute of International Education’s Annual Gala this week in New York City, IIE presented seven Fulbright alumni with the inaugural IIE Global Changemaker Awards in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Fulbright Program.

  • Women Enhancing Technology: Three Years of Impact

    The WeTech program is a set of innovative activities that provides training and builds networks for girls and women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) across the world. For the past three years, WeTech has opened up new life possibilities for young females, preparing them for and connecting them to STEM opportunities.

  • WeTech Qualcomm Global Scholars: Empowering the Next Generation of Female STEM Leaders

    This August, 36 young women pursuing undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from universities across India and China completed the first year of the WeTech Qualcomm Global Scholars Program, an exciting new initiative made possible through Qualcomm’s support.

  • Letter from Tbilisi

    Georgia's Minister of Education and Science, Aleksandre Jejelava, is embracing what I consider a more positive educational nationalism–-a drive to internationalize higher education institutions, faculty and student bodies.

  • Experiential Learning and the UAE

    Experiential learning is an emerging trend in U.S. higher education, and I learned at the conference that our global peers throughout the world are also utilizing experiential learning in their educational programs to further the development of key sectors, academic fields, and professional skills.

  • China's Role in International Education by the Numbers

    Chinese students account for a third--the largest proportion--of the more than one million international students on American campuses across the country. There are over 34,000 Chinese students in American high schools, and many others coming for summer camps and in “bridge” programs.

  • We Are the Lucky Ones: A Partner’s Reflections on the IIE-SRF Forum

    On April 29th, I sat on the 12th floor of IIE’s New York Headquarters, humbled to be a part of the 2016 Scholar Rescue Fund Forum, "Scholar Voices and University Action." Surrounding me were highly accomplished individuals from education, human rights and government sectors, paired with persecuted scholars from all around the globe, each with a story to tell and a profound determination to make an impactful change.

  • Top 5 Ways IIE is Building Networks Across Africa

    Through programs like ACE for Women’s Leadership and Higher Education Readiness (HER), IIE harnesses the power of international education to address major challenges facing the world today.

  • Letter from Cape Town: Finding Shakespeare

    In my remarks at the British Council's "Going Global" Conference, I noted how ironic it was that the only surviving piece of paper that contains something written in Shakespeare's own hand is a scene about refugees.

  • Empowering Voices and Contributing to HER Impact

    The report "HER Initiative to Lead Change: The Power of Education" shows how IIE is making a difference in Ethiopia, affecting the lives of the next generation of women and contributing to their academic and personal success.

  • Why the Refugee Crisis is so Unique

    Over the past two weeks, the Institute has been asked to make a series of presentations on how higher education can respond to the current refugee crisis. As has been true in the past, the Institute is seen as active on the front lines when there are higher education emergencies, where students and scholars need to be helped and rescued.

  • The View from Down Under: Reflections on the APAIE Conference in Melbourne

    This year's APAIE Conference was the biggest ever, and although Australia was a long way even for some of us in the rest of Asia, universities, NGOs and international education experts from across the globe gathered to find common cause and mull over the issues facing our sector.

  • Teach One, Reach All: The Multiplier Impact of Educating Girls and Women

    Despite overall progress at the global level, persistent education gaps and challenges remain in many developing countries. As you read this, there are still 62 million girls out of school globally.

  • Redefining International Education Through Non-Credit Education Abroad

    Students are re-defining what it means to study abroad. Through IIE’s Open Doors® report, we know that more than 22,000 American students participated in non-credit work, internship, and volunteer abroad (WIVA) activities in 2013/14.

  • Letter from London: The "Brexit" and Academic Mobility

    As special as the US-UK relationship is, I learned that in some quarters there are very special things happening at the forefront of science, medicine, and teaching that makes Europe special too.

  • The Math Behind Partnerships: Finding Balance in Student Exchange

    Learn how one administrator addressed the exchange imbalance between and American university and its French exchange partner with a number of creative solutions.

  • 6 New Developments in China's Philanthropy Sector

    The philanthropy sector in mainland China is young but growing fast, and IIE is constantly developing new initiatives to address the needs of this burgeoning sector.

  • Insights From the G7 International Higher Education Summit

    We had the opportunity to represent IIE and U.S. higher education at the G7 International Higher Education Summit last month in Tokyo. Through our roundtable dialogues, meetings, and presentations several key insights rose to the top as the current trends and challenges facing global academic mobility.

  • International Partnerships: What Does it Mean to be Strategic?

    International partnerships cannot be strategic in a vacuum. Rather, their significance and “strategicness” is tied to the overall strategy and goals of the institutions involved.

  • IIE's Long-Term Commitment to Serving Refugees

    Since its inception, IIE has sought out ways to support students and scholars in need when their home countries were in times of war or internal discord. Today, the Scholar Rescue Fund is answering this call by encouraging universities to provide scholarships to qualified Syrian students and offering funding to host institutions that offer temporary positions for Syrian scholars.

  • The "Delivering Higher Education to Syrian Refugees" Workshop: A Rare Moment of Guarded Optimism

    It is widely recognized that without an educated generation of future leaders, the rebuilding of Syria will be impossible. Additionally, we know that as millions of Syrians settle – potentially permanently – in Europe, North America, and parts of the Middle East-North Africa region, education presents an important alternative to crime and radicalization. These realities have led to a substantial increase in international programming to support higher education opportunities for Syrian refugees.

  • Five International Exchange Alumni Impacting the World

    Read about five distinguished alumni of scholarships managed or administered by IIE whose international experiences gave them the courage and knowledge to forge new discoveries and change the world.

  • Ta-Nehisi Coates, Kerry Washington: Who Will You Nominate to #GoStudyAbroad?

    Just about 300,000 U.S. students study abroad each year. Yet, only about 5% of those going abroad are African American. Finances, family support, and fear of the unknown are some of the reasons why African Americans and many underrepresented students don’t think of studying abroad.

  • Supporting Academics in Conflict: A Conversation with Finland's Centre for International Mobility

    IIE-SRF’s recently announced partnership with Finland’s Centre for International Mobility (CIMO) is the beginning of a trans-Atlantic cooperation that will better serve scholars from Iraq and Syria displaced from their homes by war and violence.

  • Letter from New Hampshire

    The University of New Hampshire joined us as a Generation Study Abroad partner, aiming to increase from about 750 students currently studying abroad to 1,500. This is part of the UNH Global 2020 strategy aiming to make international learning and experience central to education.

  • IIE Joins Girls CHARGE!

    This past September IIE joined the Clinton Foundation and the Brookings Institution’s Collaborative for Harnessing Ambition and Resources for Girls’ Education (Girls CHARGE)--a collaboration of over 50 companies, civil society organizations, multilaterals and governments all committed to improving learning and leadership opportunities for young women and girls globally.

  • Catchers in the Rye: Education and Extremism

    Perhaps education has for too long been looked at as a panacea for the world's problems, however this role as “catchers” is one that we should rally around as central to our vocation as educators.

  • Is Generation Study Abroad Making a Difference?

    We are seeing that through our collective impact, the Generation Study Abroad network is making steady progress to reach our goal of doubling study abroad by the end of the decade.

  • Absence Thinking and the Future of Higher Education: Thoughts From the IAU General Conference

    Recently in Bangkok the International Association of Universities (IAU), the UNESCO-based association of higher education institutions, held its 15th General Conference that takes place every four years. The focus of the conference was to exchange strategies and practices that demonstrate how HEIs contribute to innovation and sustainability.

  • Shimmer on a Cloudy Day: Reflections on IIE's HER Program

    The month of July is a rainy one for Ethiopia. For IIE and the graduates of the Higher Education Readiness program, however, the 28th of July stands out as a bright and remarkable day where we got together to celebrate 100 girls who successfully graduated from high school and the HER program.

  • Reflections on a Cuban Study Tour

    This summer, four American University graduate students traveled to Cuba to conduct an evaluation of IIE’s Cuba International Academic Partnership Program as part of a faculty-led group project. This collection of short observations highlights how each team member also grew personally from the experience.

  • Celebrating Tunisia's National Women's Day

    Each year on August 13th, Tunisians celebrate National Women’s Day. For many, it’s a day to acknowledge what they have achieved for women’s rights, while recognizing and continuing to fight the many challenges that still exist against gender equality.

  • Show Me the Impact! IIE Report Provides Evidence that Higher Education Opportunities Lead to Social Change

    Today we are releasing the first findings of our ten-year longitudinal study of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program (IFP). The report contributes to research and policy dialogue about the potential long-term impacts of an international fellowship program like IFP.

  • Preparing to Study in the USA: How American Football Inspired IIE's Newest Book

    This book gathers some of the most confusing things about our education system as well as the culture surrounding it, and then tries to explain it from the viewpoint of someone encountering it for the first time.

  • Negotiating Space in International Academic Partnerships: Lessons from South Africa

    With the increasing pace of internationalization of higher education, there are concerns that there may be negative aspects to internationalization as universities in developing countries import curricula, systems and quality assurance frameworks from the established world.

  • Coffee and Complicated History: The Realities of U.S.-Cuba Academic Partnerships

    It’s impossible to create meaningful, lasting university partnerships without having a basic understanding of the historical and political context that surrounds the U.S.-Cuba relationship.

  • 11 Tips for Increasing International Student Yield in Uncertain Times

    To help campus leaders and admissions officers navigate these uncertain times, IIE’s team of experts put together a list of eleven actions to take this month to encourage international students to make the United States – and your college - their first choice. This list is by no means comprehensive. Our hope is that it will get the conversation started and others can add in best practices from their campuses and experience.

  • WeTech: Engineering the Future for Girls and Women since 2013

    Two years ago this month, IIE launched a new program to help women and girls enter and succeed in tech careers. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton introduced WeTech on stage at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting in 2013. WeTech is a consortium of private sector and NGO partners that designs and supports a series of innovative activities to provide training, build networks and offer professional opportunities across the world.

  • Tips for Comprehensive Alumni Engagement: Lessons Learned from a Diplomatic Network Meeting

    The Institute of International Education (IIE) recently hosted a special meeting on “Alumni Engagement: Methods and Strategies for Engaging Returning Students,” as part of its regular series of Global Education Diplomatic Network meetings, which brings together education attaches of embassies and consulates and related organizations.

  • How Study Abroad Contributes to Career Readiness: 8 Studies

    International experience used to be a “nice-to-have” criterion in a graduate’s resume. Today, it has become one of the most important components of a 21st century education. Many new studies show a direct impact of study abroad on creativity, cognitive ability, and student success. In addition, studies show that study abroad plays an important role in developing a global mindset and skills necessary to succeed in the workforce. Below are studies showing the value employers place on international experience and whether a graduate’s career prospects actually improve as a result of this experience.

  • The Impact of European Exchange: An Interview With Xavier Prats Monné

    As the European Union copes with a continuing financial crisis and growing pessimism over European integration, the Erasmus Programme has proven surprisingly resilient. Since its inception, it has expanded to more than 4000 participating education institutions in 33 countries offering mobility opportunities for more than 4 million people.

  • Letter From Havana: Geography, History, and Industrial Arts

    A delegation led by the Institute of International Education (IIE) visited Cuba on October 24–31. Our group represented 12 schools across the spectrum of American higher education interested in institutional partnerships and Cuba as a destination for study abroad.

  • Bringing New Voices: The Inaugural IIE Summit on Generation Study Abroad

    Over 600 Commitment Partners of IIE’s Generation Study Abroad gathered to discuss progress on their commitments and how to move their actions forward to our shared vision of doubling by the end of the decade.

  • As the Refugee Population Grows

    Here in Germany it is clear that they cannot take all refugees traveling their direction, or even all that have already arrived. It is also clear that Angela Merkel is in real trouble for trying, and that the Germans in the higher education space want their country to lead the way in helping.

  • A Passage to India

    As E. M. Forster illustrates in the novel with the same title as this blog, India is full of contradictions. You cannot help but notice and hear how big the country is becoming.

  • Women’s Enterprise for Sustainability (WES): Celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week

    Zina Ammar grew up in Gafsa, Tunisia, where she learned how to make the region’s famous Margoum carpets from the women in her family. Zina eventually started her own carpet-making business. Hoping to grow her business, Zina enrolled in Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Financial Education trainings at the Women's Enterprise for Sustainability (WES) Center for Women’s Business Development in her community.

  • Rediscovering Memory: Celebrating the Art and Work of a Threatened Scholar

    On October 19th, IIE Scholar Rescue Fund (IIE-SRF) supporters and guests celebrated the art and work of IIE-SRF alumna Jumana Jaber at a reception at IIE’s headquarters in New York City.

  • Measuring the Impact of Our Important Work

    IIE has devoted the entire issue of the newly released IIENetworker to an exploration of impact and relevance. Articles look beyond what is happening and how toward a deeper exploration of whether international education matters and why.

  • Civic Values and Narrative Imagination: The Role of International Higher Education

    A few months ago I was asked to join a forum in Southeast Asia to discuss what role higher education has to inculcate civic literacy and values in the students who pass through the university system.

  • Workforce Development and the Next Generation of Globally Competitive Individuals

    Although the concept of workforce development has been around for a long time, it has recently gained prominence in the field based on several factors in the ever-evolving state of the global economy. Here is what I have learned about the impact of international education on global workforce development.

  • Second Inspirational Speaker Meets with HER Girls to Provide Perspective

    As part of IIE's Higher Education Readiness (HER) program, which provides young women in secondary school from underserved communities with a pathway to university, our team in the Addis Ababa office is organizing inspirational speakers to meet with the girls several times each semester.

  • A Different Experience: Supporting First Generation College Students in Education Abroad

    Studying abroad was never something I planned on doing. I knew such a thing existed, but to me it existed in a realm of things I didn’t perceive as meant for me. I was a first generation college student.

  • 75 Years of IVLP—Applauding a Unique and Worthy Program

    Participants of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) taught me a great deal about the world we share, and they came from places I thought I would never have the chance to visit.

  • Understanding Southeast Asia: A Primer for Successful Engagement

    In the following post I’ll dig a little deeper into some of the unique features of Southeast Asia, which I hope those unfamiliar with the region will find useful, interesting, and perhaps a prompt for if or how to be invested in this unique area of the world.

  • My Town, Our World: A New Virtual Exchange Initiative for Secondary Schools

    My Town engages thousands students from around the world in interactive, competitive projects, that encourage students to explore aspects of their own towns and cities while learning about towns and cities of their peers.

  • International Women’s Day: Making It Happen for Girls and Women in Tech

    Today, women make up 12 percent of all computer science grads. Just three decades ago, they represented 37 percent. They’re half the workforce, but hold only a quarter of technical or computing jobs.

  • HER Girls Meet Ethiopian Woman Leaders

    As part of IIE’s Higher Education Readiness (HER) program, which provides young women in secondary school from underserved communities with a pathway to university, our team in the Addis Ababa office is organizing inspirational speakers to meet with the girls several times each semester. The speakers are Ethiopian women who have, despite challenges in their lives, become leaders in their field.

  • A New Open Doors for a New World

    The Institute of International Education has been collecting and disseminating comprehensive and reliable data on international academic mobility since the Institute was founded in 1919. For nearly 70 years IIE has been publishing this information annually as the Open Doors® Report on International Educational Exchange.

  • Where Have All the Languages Gone?

    U.S. student enrollment in foreign-language studies is declining for the first time in 20 years and just at a time when we need more Americans who are able to speak the languages and understand the cultures where they are visiting, studying, and may possibly work someday.

  • Piecing Together Russian Student Mobility Trends: Research Data and Russian Practitioner Perspectives

    I had the opportunity to present and discuss global student mobility trends based on data from the Project Atlas® and Open Doors® research initiatives. Here are five takeaways from my conversation.

  • Only a Few Days Left to Invest in a HER Girl and Change an Entire Community

    IIE is now raising funds to assist with their transition to university, and we invite you to lend your support by making a donation by June 15.

  • ‘No Ordinary Days: A Journey of Activism, Globe-Trotting, and Unexpected Pleasures,’ by Susan Sygall

    Anyone concerned with promoting wider participation in study abroad by students with disabilities, or anyone who just needs some encouragement to keep facing hard challenges head-on, should rush to read Susan Sygall's terrific personal memoir, No Ordinary Days: A Journey of Activism, Globe-Trotting, and Unexpected Pleasures.

  • Myanmar: What a Difference 2 Years Can Make

    Our engagement with Myanmar began two years ago when IIE led the first major delegation of U.S. colleges and universities to the country to meet with key academic and government stakeholders.

  • Where Can a Foreign Language Take You?

    With all the recent talk about the decrease in foreign language enrollment in the United States, I thought it would be worthwhile to look at some concrete examples of real career paths that began in a language classroom.

  • The Role of International Education in a Time of Crises

    Germany hosted this year’s G7, along with the summit we convene in conjunction with the G7 each year on the internationalization of higher education. This year’s summit theme was “International Higher Education Cooperation: Bridges in a Time of Crises.”

  • Are We Making Progress Toward Doubling Study Abroad?

    Roughly 15 months after IIE launched the Generation Study Abroad initiative, it’s time to take stock. Are we making progress? Can we achieve our goal of doubling study abroad by the end of the decade?

  • 100 Years of IIE: From Student Mobility to Strategic Engagement

    IIE has seen a lot change in the landscape of international higher education institutional partnerships. Not only has there been a quantitative increase in the sheer numbers of collaborations worldwide, the focus of these partnerships is now also shifting towards mutually beneficial, strategic partnerships.

  • Letter From Abu Dhabi: Selecting the 2015 Falcon Scholar

    Last year, pilot programs called the Falcon Scholarships Administered by the Rhodes Trust were instituted for China and the United Arab Emirates. It has been my privilege to serve as the chair of the latter selection committee.

  • In Conflict and Crisis, Higher Education Matters

    About a month ago in Brussels, the Global Platform did something equally remarkable: it gathered, for the first time, representatives of NGOs, multilateral agencies, governments, and universities for a two-day expert seminar on Higher Education in Emergencies.

  • Get in the Ring and Change the World!

    According to Entrepreneurship Education and Training Programs Around the World—Dimensions for Success, entrepreneurship is the largest single source of new job growth in both developed and developing economies. Therefore, a few weeks ago I was thrilled to see this idea in action when I attended the Eastern European regional finals of Get in the Ring, which took place in Sofia, Bulgaria.

  • BSMP: Five Lessons Learned in Scaling Up an International Scholarship Program Quickly

    It is expected that a minimum of 6,000 Brazilian scholarship students will be in-program at U.S. institutions at any given time. While there have been a number of unique keys to success of this program, we have learned five general lessons during its rapid growth that we hope can advise other programs seeking to scale up.

  • Letter From Philadelphia—Remarks at a Model UN Conference

    In my remarks at the opening of the 31st Ivy League Model United Nations Conference (ILMUNC) organized by University of Pennsylvania students, I spoke about a high school teacher of mine and a national debate competition and their profound impact on who I have become.

  • Additional 100 Girls in Ethiopia Awarded the HER Scholarship

    IIE is excited to announce that an additional 100 girls were awarded IIE’s Higher Education Readiness (HER) scholarship. These 11th grade girls (fifty each from Fitawrari and Addis Ketema schools) should be proud of their accomplishments.

  • Letter From San Bernardino

    On Friday Dr. Allan Goodman visited the Cal State University campus in San Bernardino (CSUSB. The university president, Dr. Tomas Morales, had invited Dr. Goodman to speak at a symposium that day on International Education. He and many others during the day expressed that what happened on Wednesday made the need for international education and exchange even more important. So far six of the school's Alumni have died as a result of the terrorism.

  • Keeping the Doors Open to International Students

    In a powerful commentary piece in Times Higher Education, Keeping the Doors Open to International Students, Rajika Bhandari, IIE’s Deputy VP for Research and evaluation, noted that “the release of this much-awaited annual data was tragically book-ended by the terrorist attacks in Paris and by statements from several governors in the U.S. declaring that they would close the doors of their states to Syrian refugees because one of the Paris attackers posed as a refugee.”

  • Building Strategic International Partnerships: The 18th Annual Colloquium on International Engineering Education

    This year's Colloquium brought together representatives of more than 100 universities, including over 25 foreign institutions, that are currently training the next generation of global engineers, as well as NGO and government leaders to examine topics related to engineering education and preparing students for the engineering workforce.

  • What Do International High School Students Mean for U.S. Higher Education? Six Key Takeaways

    The presence of diploma-seeking international students in high schools is beginning to shift the landscape of international student recruitment for U.S. colleges and universities.

  • Bringing International Education to the High School Classroom

  • Asia's Stake in 21st-Century Higher Education

    In most higher education discourse today it is not unusual to hear the claim that the world’s center of gravity is shifting toward the East. Indeed, no region has undergone as profound a transformation as Asia during the past half-century, from the 1970s to the present.

  • Women’s Enterprise for Sustainability (WES): Supporting Women’s Entrepreneurship in Tunisia

    Chadleya Idriss participated in the WES entrepreneurship training and worked closely with the WES Center staff to conduct market research on the toy industry in Tunisia.

  • Virtual Fair Hints at Welcome Trend in International Exchange

    Recently over 3,000 people gathered to roam the cyber halls of the inaugural Virtual Study Abroad Fair hosted by the State Department, College Week Live, and the Institute of International Education. We hope that these interactions that started off through virtual booths, video conferencing, and instant messaging turn into genuine experiences of cultural exchange.

  • HER Parent Group Meetings Show Changes in Parental Attitudes for Girls Education

    To gain additional parental support for ongoing education of the HER girls, the IIE Addis office recently held two HER parent meetings, one at each of the high schools.

  • 4 Things Your Institution Can Do to Support Education in Crisis

    Neglecting academic needs during and after armed conflict raises the risk of failure once peace is restored—with security implications for the rest of the world. What can the academic community do to help?