ACE, IIE Announce New Partnership to Co-Design and Scale International Education Programming 

Washington, D.C., November 16, 2023 — The American Council on Education (ACE) and the Institute of International Education (IIE) announced today a new partnership to co-design programmatic offerings that will address escalating challenges in higher education internationalization and serve the evolving internationalization needs of diverse higher education institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Minority-Serving Institutions, and community colleges. 

ACE and IIE, each with more than 100 years of higher education leadership, will leverage their respective strengths—ACE as the major coordinating body for the United States’ colleges and universities and IIE as an international education leader administering programs with more than 28,000 participants across 180 countries annually. Their new initiative will bring together extensive research, decades of practice, and deep knowledge from networks of experts across the international higher education spectrum. 

“ACE is thrilled to partner with IIE to bolster internationalization in higher education,” ACE President Ted Mitchell said. “Global engagement and international education are critical underpinnings of American higher education, and IIE is a pioneer in this space. We look forward to working with IIE to strengthen international education programming, expand inclusivity, and address critical challenges.”  

“IIE’s partnership with ACE builds on our joint imperative to support higher education and international education,” said IIE CEO Allan Goodman. “We know the importance of making the case for internationalization and we welcome working with ACE to address the emerging challenges facing the field today.”

In one of their first actions, ACE and IIE will convene a group of experts to work with presidents, senior international officers (SIOs), scholars, and other constituents to identify and analyze key challenges in the international education space. The committee’s insights and findings will guide the partnership’s subsequent activities, which will include supporting institutions through workshops, study projects and strategic planning. ACE and IIE will call upon their extensive networks—including college presidents and SIOs—to support the co-design process. 

Through this partnership, the two organizations will collectively leverage decades of programmatic work, particularly ACE’s Education Futures Lab’s Internationalization Laboratory, and a wealth of primary data, such as IIE’s Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange and ACE’s Education Futures Lab’s Mapping Internationalization on U.S. Campuses, allowing the organizations to share trends, data, and practice-based insights that will benefit a broad range of institutions.

“IIE has long been a leader in international education programming, underpinned by significant research,” said Hironao Okahana, assistant vice president and executive director of ACE’s Education Futures Lab. “Coupling IIE’s good work with ACE’s own expertise in this space, accumulated over the two decades through the Internationalization Lab and Mapping Reports, this partnership will be anchored by complementary strengths and will allow us to create space as a think-and-do tank that is learner centric and impact oriented.” 

“Higher education, like many other fields, is experiencing a period of disruption. In order to respond to emergent, complex challenges, institutions need data-informed analyses and solutions rooted in evidence and research,”added Mirka Martel, head of Research, Evaluation & Learning at IIE.“ACE and IIE’s collective insights uniquely position both organizations to deliver just that as colleges and universities navigate both challenges and opportunities.”

This new, collective endeavor adds another critical element to ACE’s Education Futures Lab, which also expanded its research portfolio in July when ACE announced a partnership with the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies to strengthen and lead the Higher Education Research Institute. By partnering with IIE, ACE will expand its support for campus internationalization and further leverage its extensive data and insights. 

IIE’s collaboration with ACE will expand the organization’s reach to more U.S. and international institutions, providing new opportunities to actively and regularly engage with stakeholders on U.S. and international campuses. Founded in 1919, IIE is a trusted convener and research leader in the field of international education, publishing industry-standard publications such as Open Doors® and the Fall Snapshot Survey on International Student Enrollment and supporting higher education institutions’ internationalization goals through its 10,000-member IIENetwork and cutting-edge Center for International Partnerships. As part of its commitment to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in the field, IIE created the Center for Equity and Access in March 2023. Through dialogue and action, the Center leverages programs and partnerships that examine the intersection of international education with diversity, equity, inclusion, and access; cultivates global learning to support engagement and understanding of individuals and communities; and supports access for underrepresented communities by examining and addressing structural inequities.

About the Institute of International Education (IIE) The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the leader in designing and implementing international education strategies and program services. We work with governments, 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. With support from donors, we also create initiatives that assist students, scholars, and artists whose lives and work are threatened; expand teaching and learning across cultures; and provide opportunities to underserved populations. A not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 16 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,600 higher education partners

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