IIE Celebrates Centennial

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Receives Henry Kaufman Prize

More than 500 leaders in higher education, government, and diplomatic circles gathered in New York City from Feb. 17 to Feb. 19 to examine the future of international education.

NEW YORK, Feb. 19, 2019 – The Institute of International Education (IIE) celebrated its 100-year anniversary with its 2019 summit at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, a ceremonial lighting of the Empire State Building, and by recognizing The Right Honourable Gordon Brown with the Henry Kaufman Prize.

IIE celebrates a century of promoting mutual understanding, cultural exchange, and diplomacy through international education.

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown received the Henry Kaufman Prize. The Henry Kaufman Prize was created in 2009 to recognize IIE’s Chairman Emeritus Dr. Henry Kaufman, for more than 30 years of outstanding service as a trustee of IIE, and periodically to honor a national leader or public official for work in promoting and developing international education at the tertiary level.

“It is a special honour for me to be part of IIE’s celebration of 100 years of public service to international education,” Brown said. “As a Scotsman, it is a particular honour to receive the Kaufman Prize because of Dr. Kaufman’s admiration for Adam Smith – who grew up in a constituency which I represented in Parliament – and whose insights remain ever so relevant today.”

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued a proclamation for IIE’s 100-year anniversary, recognizing the hard work and dedication of those involved with IIE over the past century.

The Institute of International Education, founded in 1919, is the leading global organization administering the world’s most prestigious and innovative programs in international education and exchange, including among many others the Fulbright Programs of the U.S. Department of State, the Language Flagship of the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Ford International Fellowships Program.

IIE founders Stephen Duggan, Sr., and Nobel laureates Elihu Root and Nicholas Murray Butler envisioned IIE as a central coordinating body for the establishment of political, economic, and cultural collaboration among students, scholars, and academic institutions worldwide. IIE was one of the first advocates for international exchange, pioneering new models of collaboration among colleges and universities across the globe.

“There is no better way to foster diplomatic relations than through people to people exchange,” said IIE Chairman Thomas S. Johnson. “IIE’s century-long investment in international education makes the world a safer and more interconnected place, creating stronger global ties and enhancing mutual understanding among nations.”

Participants in IIE-administered programs have gone on to make significant contributions to society the world over. Their work is a testament to the value of international education and exchange, and their power to create new leaders prepared to take on the world’s greatest challenges. To date, more than 500,000 students, scholars, and professionals from 190 countries have participated in the groundbreaking scholarship, study abroad, and workforce training and leadership development programs designed and managed by IIE. To date, 108 trustees and alumni associated with IIE have received the Nobel Prize.

“Over the decades, IIE has made a unique contribution to enhancing the potential of tens of thousands of young people from every continent who have benefited from access to education beyond their borders,” Brown said. “With 10 million young refugees and 30 million young people displaced from their homes as a result of more than 40 conflicts across the globe, IIE’s tireless and innovative approaches to helping students and the academic staff who serve them is needed now more than ever.”

Protecting threatened academics and students is central to IIE’s mission. This legacy began in 1920 with a fund to bring students and scholars fleeing the Bolshevik Revolution to the United States. Over the past 100 years, IIE programs have aided thousands of scholars, students, and artists threatened by conflict and turmoil in their home countries.

According to recent data collected by the United Nations, more than 68.5 million people globally were forcibly displaced. Displaced children and youth are at risk of being unable to continue their education, to secure jobs, and ultimately to rebuild their home countries. As the world confronts a growing refugee crisis, IIE’s work on behalf of scholars, students, and artists is needed more than ever.

“Rescuing scholars, students, and artists creates hope for a better future,” said IIE Vice Chairman and 2019 Centennial Chairman Mark Angelson. “It is essential that we marshal our resources to bring talented individuals to more supportive environments, where they are free to pursue their life’s work in safety. Through IIE initiatives, we ensure that the voices and cultural capital of the current generation are preserved for the future.”

In 2002, trustees of IIE founded the IIE Scholar Rescue Fund, the only global fund dedicated to bringing threatened scholars to safe haven in host institutions across the world. Since then, 793 scholars from 59 countries have received IIE-SRF grants, ensuring that their academic work and research can continue.

In addition, IIE programs support the Artist Protection Fund, which provides haven and fellowships at host universities and arts organizations for artists at risk of persecution or violence in their home countries. IIE’s Student Emergencies Initiative connects displaced students and students facing financial challenges due to conflict or environmental disaster with informational resources and grants to help them continue their education. Since 2010, more than 850 emergency grants have been awarded through IIE’s Emergency Student Fund to students across the world, amounting to more than $2 million in financial aid.

As people and nations are increasingly interconnected, more students are choosing to venture abroad during their post-secondary academic career. Since the turn of the century, the number of international students studying abroad worldwide has grown rapidly from 2.1 million students in 2001 to more than 5 million students. The United States alone hosted 1,094,792 international students in the 2017/18 academic year, 22 percent of the world total.

IIE and its programs were instrumental in making international education and study abroad possible. From its inception, IIE was designed to facilitate international travel for students and scholars, working with colleges, universities, and the U.S. government to open up new possibilities for international students to study at U.S. colleges and universities. Programs created within IIE have persisted despite World War II and other global conflicts, providing access to opportunity, and helping establish the United States as a global leader in education.

Since 1920, IIE has tracked the extraordinary growth of international education, conducting an annual census of international students in the United States. This tradition evolved into the Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. IIE is grateful to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for its partnership and support of Open Doors since 1972.

Through Open Doors and other vital research initiatives, IIE provides international education leaders, policy makers, and colleges and universities with crucial insights on trends in international education, producing reports and data resources on trends in global student mobility.

IIE, a not-for-profit organization privately funded through generous donations, has fostered the growth and development of international educational programs that have had a profound impact on the U.S. economy. IIE’s original funding was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which has continued to provide support over the century since IIE’s founding. Today, higher education is one of the United States’ most valuable exports. According to recent data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, international students contributed $42.4 billion to the U.S. economy through tuition, room and board, and other expenditures.

Thanks to IIE’s longstanding connection to the Rockefeller family, IIE’s unique archive – with a century of data on international academic mobility and other historical records including photos, correspondence, and publications – is housed at the Rockefeller Archives Center in Pocantico, NY, where it is open to the public.

To learn more about IIE’s Centennial year and to get involved, visit www.iie.org/100.

About IIE:
The Institute of International Education (IIE) is a world leader in international education, creating more peaceful and equitable societies by advancing scholarship, building economies, and promoting access to opportunity. As a not-for-profit organization with 18 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.

For more information, contact:
Catherine Morris, cmorris@iie.org, (202) 326-7765


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