Shortly after President Obama's major education address before the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce yesterday, NAFSA senior adviser Victor Johnson spoke with PRI's The World program and made the case for a proactive approach to building our capacity for global leadership and economic competitiveness through international education:
In any given year, roughly one percent of those enrolled in all higher education institutions in the United States study abroad. By any measure, the participation is way too low for the times we live in.
Johnson stressed that America can only compete in the global economy if we continue to produce the next generation of leaders. That, he said, all depends on fostering an international exchange of students and scholars at America's colleges and universities:
If we want to train more American’s in science and math, who’s going to do it? The answer is the foreigners who are here teaching those subjects today.
Listen to the full audio. Also, check out NAFSA's recent memo to the President, "Setting a New Tone in U.S. Foreign Relations," which outlines how the new administration can put our relations with the world on a new footing by enacting a major international education initiative designed explicitly to foster an America that knows, understands, and is able to communicate with the world, and to strengthen the relationships through which the American people and the world's people can relate to, interact with, and understand each other.