Exchanges in the media
Five former U.S. ambassadors to Germany believe that the decision to cut funding for the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange program (CBYX) by 50 per cent “runs contrary to U.S. interests”:
“At a time when our two countries need to work together more closely on numerous transatlantic and global issues, slashing this successful program is the wrong decision for German-American relations.”
Minorities, specifically black and Hispanic students, are the most underrepresented groups in study abroad programs, reports USA Today. According to the Institute of international Education’s (IIE) annual Open Doors report, Hispanic students represent 8 per cent of Americans abroad, while black students comprise only 5 per cent.
Despite being a “textbook example” of soft power and “the best money we spend overseas,” the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) has experienced consistent funding cuts over the past several years, Foreign Policy reports:
Shifting current attitudes in the Middle East away from fear and towards trust-building is best accomplished through people-to-people exchange programs, according to Richard LeBaron, a retired U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait. LeBaron suggests that in order to counter terrorism, we need only look at the decade long studies of the roots of radicalization coupled with serious consideration of exchanges as strategic tools rather than “a nice thing to do.”
The closure of a once commonly used visa track, for post-study international students to work in the U.K., has had negative impacts on British businesses and universities, The Pie News reports.
Funding cuts to the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX), a bilateral exchange program supported jointly by the U.S. and Germany, are facing bipartisan criticism from members of Congress, as well as from the German government. In addition to opposition from CBYX program alumni, the cuts have “spawned an unusual coalition in Washington that is working hard to reverse the partial defunding of the program,” Deutsche Welle reports.
The Indian academic community has voiced concerns regarding the one-sided nature of the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GAIN), an exchange that only incorporates Indians hosting Americans but not the other way around, according to The Chronicle Of Higher Education. GAIN is an Indian program that will host 1,000 American scholars annually.
Dovetailing with the White House’s focus on the important role played by two-year institutions in American education, the Department of State and the Fulbright Program are seeking to involve community colleges more in exchanges, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
An increasing number of high school graduates in the United Kingdom are interested and/or enrolling in universities outside of the U.K., according to The Independent. A survey of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) found that ninety per cent of its administrators had noticed increased student interest in universities outside the U.K. over the past three years.
The U.S. Department of State is celebrating 75 years of state-sponsored exchange programs this year. Launched today is a social media campaign using the hashtag #ExchangesAre and comprising an array of videos that will explore the historical impacts of such programs. The 75th anniversary of State Department exchanges coincides with today’s launch of a new, informative website and will also be accompanied by a series of events throughout 2015.