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First U.S. International Education Week Announced

Sharita Forrest, News Bureau Staff Writer
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The first U.S. International Education Week will be celebrated Nov. 13-17 at the University of Illinois as well as colleges and universities across the nation. The observance is planned to call attention to the need for expanded international education programs.

One way these goals are being accomplished at the UI is through a collaborative research program with France, whereby scientists, faculty, artists and advanced graduate students from France and the UI work together on research projects. French and UI artists and scientists in the program are doing collaborative research in chemical engineering and environmental sciences, chemistry and material sciences, mathematics, computer science, physics, life science and neuroscience, and medieval and renaissance cultural studies. In addition, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs is helping fund an International Trade Center and an Africa Business Center at Urbana. An Illinois Trade Office will be established in Capetown, South Africa, to encourage and expedite exports of Illinois products to South African buyers.

"The problems that we see in Illinois are the same as problems we're seeing everywhere," said Earl Kellogg, associate provost for international affairs at UI. "And our international education programs prepare students to be not only better leaders but better employees and better citizens as well."

The UI's commitment to international education is also evident in its expanded study-abroad programs and the hiring of international faculty. The number of UI students studying abroad has increased from 450 in 1991-92 to 1,210 for the academic year 1999-2000.

UI students also are serving internships in Belgium, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Poland and South Africa. In addition, 13 new long-term international faculty members came to the UI campus this fall and will help strengthen the international dimension of teaching, research and outreach.

International Education Week is part of a renewed emphasis on international education begun by the U.S. State Department and the Department of Education in April when President Clinton issued a policy memorandum directing heads of government agencies to work together to strengthen America's commitment to international education. The memorandum called for measures that would include encouraging student exchange and promoting the effective use of technology to expand educational opportunities.