Contact: NAFSA Media Relations, [email protected]
Washington, D.C., July 26, 2021 – Today, in remarks at the EducationUSA Forum, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona in a Joint Statement of Principles, announced support of international education, emphasizing their shared commitment to promoting international education and outlining the benefits of global academic engagement for all Americans. U.S. federal agencies involved in different aspects of international education will commit to undertaking actions to support a renewed focus on international education. The following is a statement by Dr. Esther D. Brimmer, Executive Director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
“International education provides our nation with immeasurable benefits. Establishing a national strategy to proactively welcome international talent and compete for the world’s best and brightest will undoubtedly contribute to our nation’s global leadership, economic strength, and innovation. U.S. students also benefit from global experiences provided by access to study abroad, interactions with international student peers, and an internationalized campus. We should prioritize these opportunities.
"The U.S. Departments of State and Education's Joint Statement of Principles is a welcome initiative that signals an exciting advancement in rebuilding and restoring U.S. engagement with the world. NAFSA has advocated for a national strategy on international education for years and we look forward to continuing to work with the Biden-Harris administration to see these principles put into action. Given the importance of this effort and the challenge often presented by government-wide initiatives, we strongly encourage the administration to establish a coordinating entity at the White House level to ensure future success and collaboration of all the necessary government agencies.
"We also recommend the following policies and programs be included in a U.S. national strategy for international education:
- A national strategy for recruiting international students that sets specific enrollment targets, engages a broader number of U.S. institutions in enrolling international students, and seeks to attract a more diverse pool of students from a wider range of countries and regions around the world. Helpful to this work would be increasing funding for the State Department's EducationUSA overseas advising centers and supporting immigration legislation that makes the U.S. more attractive to international students, such as expanding dual intent and creating a path to permanent residence.
- A national study abroad strategy that grows and diversifies U.S. college student participation, making study abroad a critical component of a quality U.S. higher education. Support for the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Act would go a long way toward achieving this.
- Increasing funding for established programs like Fulbright, and newer programs such as the State Department's Increasing and Diversifying Education Abroad for U.S. Students (IDEAS) program and, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual exchange programs like the Stevens Initiative.
“NAFSA has detailed recommendations for the U.S. Departments of State, Education, and other federal agencies that should be part of any broader international education strategy. We stand ready to help the Biden administration shape the approach and applaud this renewed focus on international education."
About NAFSA: Serving more than 10,000 members and international educators worldwide, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange. Visit us at www.nafsa.org/press. To learn more about our advocacy efforts on behalf of international education, visit www.nafsa.org/takeaction. Resources to guide our members on these issues can be found at www.nafsa.org/reginfo.