Initiatives Help Promote Mutual Understanding Between Colombia & United States
WASHINGTON, DC, October 4, 2017 – IIE presented Fulbright Colombia and ICETEX (El Instituto Colombiano de Crédito Educativo y Estudios Técnicos en el Exterior), the Colombian government’s Institute for Study Abroad with the Generation Study Abroad Award. The award recognizes the outstanding contributions that they have made toward making study abroad opportunities in Colombia more accessible to students from the United States.
IIE’s Generation Study Abroad award recognizes individuals and organizations that encourage purposeful, innovative action to get more Americans to undertake an international experience by supporting the mission of Generation Study Abroad. IIE presented the award during the third annual Summit on Generation Study Abroad on October 4 in Washington, D.C.
IIE launched Generation Study Abroad, a 5‐year initiative to expand the number of U.S. students studying abroad and make opportunities available to more students, diversifying the population of students who take part. IIE is working with partners throughout the higher education community encourage purposeful, innovative action to get more Americans to undertake an international experience.
The collaboration between Fulbright Colombia, the Ministry of Education, and ICETEX is an exemplary model to introduce opportunities to expand U.S. study abroad to Colombia and grow interest and capacity among Colombian universities to attract U.S. students. This collaboration introduced the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program (ETA) as part of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program in Colombia, and successfully expanded it by 267% over the last ten years. The Fulbright Commission’s annual study abroad workshops provide essential guidance and leadership to Colombian universities seeking to internationalize and attract U.S. students for short-term exchanges. IIE administers the Fulbright Program for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.
“The surest path to peace is what the Fulbright Commission is doing for the relationship between our two countries. As a partner in IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, Fulbright Colombia set a goal to double the number of students going to Colombia through the Fulbright Program by 2019. They have already exceeded that commitment. We are also grateful for their pledge to serve as an ally to Colombian universities in order to increase the number of U.S. exchange students on Colombian campuses, and for all they have done to help these campuses,” said IIE president Allan Goodman.
“It is an honor to receive this recognition for the work that the Fulbright Commission in Colombia has carried out in order to strengthen the academic and cultural cooperation between Colombia and the United States. Our goal is to provide more opportunities for Colombians to carry out advanced studies in the U.S. and for U.S. citizens to contribute to the internationalization of Higher Education Institutions, particularly in the regions,” commented Adriana Gaviria Duque, Director of the Fulbright Commission in Colombia and Fulbright alumni.
“Receiving this award is such a privilege for us, since we have worked together with Fulbright in order to help those who want to take advantage of the power of international education to achieve better goals related to the interconnected world of today. As a government, we have the commitment to benefit low income background populations to contribute with their preparation of excellence and quality in education,” indicated Mr. Andres Vásquez, president of ICETEX.
The director of international relations at ICETEX, Sara Vera Aguirre, remarked that “this recognition is a great motivation for the work that the institution offers with very important opportunities in a country that values the high quality of education. This partnership work, which is highlighted with the award, reflects our purpose to offer an education framed on the internationalization challenges and positions us as a referent for other countries. Together we strengthen the education system and promote Colombia as an academic destination."
In addition, the IIE award recognizes the efforts of Colombia Cientifica (Scientific Colombia), with funding from the World Bank, to offer two separate pathways – “Passport to Science” and “Scientific Ecosystem” – for strengthening relationships between U.S. and Colombian research universities. These pathways have brought Colombian students to leading U.S. institutions for master’s degrees and PhDs in areas such as health, environmental issues and agriculture. These initiatives help promote mutual understanding between the United States and Colombia, and serve as inspiration to others.
About the Institute of International Education
The Institute of International Education (IIE) works with policymakers, educators and employers across the globe to prepare students and professionals for the global workforce and equip them to solve the increasingly complex challenges facing our interconnected world. We work to build more peaceful and equitable societies by advancing scholarship, building economies and promoting access to opportunity. As a not-for-profit with 19 offices and affiliates worldwide, IIE collaborates with a range of corporate, government and foundation partners across the globe to design and manage scholarship, study abroad, workforce training and leadership development programs.
About Fulbright Colombia
The Fulbright Commission was established in Colombia in 1957. It currently has over 4000 alumni from both Colombia and the United States. The Commission’s mission in the country is to promote the cultural and academic cooperation between both countries through a diverse portfolio of programs that support the development of research, science and technology and encourages academic mobility for students, faculty and researchers.
ICETEX (Instituto Colombiano de Crédito Educativo y Estudios Técnicos en el Exterior) was established 67 years ago in Colombia and it has benefited, through loans and scholarships, more than 4,6 million people, including Colombians who carry out their studies abroad as well as international students and fellows (teachers and researchers) that visit Colombia in order to strengthen internationalization and international cooperation in Higher Education Institutions.
Note to Editors: Photos and interviews are available upon request.