Policy Monitor Weekly Digest

After approval in both Chambers of Congress last week, President Barack Obama signed into law an FY 2017 continuing resolution (CR) that will keep the government funded until April 28, 2017, at the fiscal cap of $1.07 trillion, CQ.com reported. The legislation allocates a total of “$58.8 billion for the International Affairs Budget, an increase of $4.2 billion (8%) above FY16 levels”, according to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.

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U.S. colleges and universities, along with prospective international students interested in applying to these institutions, are expressing concern about studying in the United States under the incoming presidential administration, according to a recent New York Times article.

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The number of international students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities has reached a record number of over one million, according to 2016 Open Doors data released this week by the Institute of International Education (IIE). This 7.1 percent increase for the 2015-2016 school year marks the tenth consecutive year of reported expansion in the total number of international students in U.S. higher education.

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Ireland announced a new international education strategy last week in order to boost international student and English Language Teaching (ELT) enrollments over the next four years by 15 and 25%, respectively.

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U.S. Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) re-introduced the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act, a bipartisan legislation that would expand opportunities for students at U.S. colleges and universities to obtain study abroad experiences through the U.S. Department of Education.

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The U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy (USACPD) today released its 2016 Comprehensive Annual Report on Public Diplomacy and International Broadcasting Actives, detailing roughly $1.8 billion in programs worldwide. The report offers analysis, research and evaluation, policy recommendations, regional overviews, and country-specific spotlights for a host of public diplomacy and international broadcasting programs, including Department of State exchanges.

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Applauding the administration’s recent announcement to resettle 110,000 refugees in the U.S. next year, NAFSA: Association of International Educators urges the administration to ensure refugees who seek higher education opportunities have a path to do so.

In a letter to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, Marlene Johnson, Executive Director and CEO of NAFSA states:

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Secretary of State John Kerry and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky announced a new partnership to support the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program by helping send more students to study abroad. In remarks delivered yesterday at the U.S. Institute of Peace, Secretary Kerry highlighted the importance of public-private partnerships to help increase global interconnectedness and mutual understanding:  

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President Barack Obama addressed 350 emerging leaders at a summit in Laos last week as part of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI). The President announced new initiatives in the region, connected with the youth from countries members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and highlighted the role of educational exchanges for leadership development and U.S.-ASEAN relations.

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The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), a program launched by President Barack Obama in 2010 to empower young entrepreneurial African leaders, is holding its 2016 Presidential Summit in Washington D.C. this week. The Summit welcomes 1,000 fellows from the initiative’s flagship program, the Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF), double the number of fellows in the 2014 inaugural cohort.

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