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International Education Week - November 13-17 2006

Statement on International Education Week - November 13-17, 2006

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
November 3, 2006

As we mark the seventh annual International Education Week, the U.S. Department of State is proud to join again with the U.S. Department of Education in celebrating the importance of international education and exchange. International Education Week provides schools, universities, communities, nonprofit organizations, and businesses across the United States and abroad the opportunity to recognize and encourage international educational exchange.

In January, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and I co-hosted our nation's first U.S. University Presidents Summit on International Education. At the Summit, President Bush announced the creation of the National Security Language Initiative, which will help provide Americans with the skills necessary to adapt to our changing world. Studying critical languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Hindi, and Farsi expands young people's opportunities, enriches their lives, and demonstrates our respect for other cultures.

As a result of the U.S. University Presidents Summit, Secretary Spellings and Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Dina H. Powell will lead a delegation of U.S. university presidents to Japan, Korea, and China during International Education Week to demonstrate the broad range of U.S. higher education opportunities and encourage the continued flow of international students to the United States.

This year we also mark the 60th anniversary of the Fulbright Program, the flagship international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Government. With a mandate to promote mutual understanding, the Fulbright Program exemplifies the power of international education.

Each year, more than 550,000 students from all over the world come to the United States to study in order to gain a better understanding of this country. They return to their home countries to share their experiences and develop careers that build on the knowledge and insights they gain at our colleges and universities. Many of the students go on to hold positions of leadership in their countries. At the same time, nearly 200,000 U.S. students study abroad each year, improving their language skills and gaining a better understanding of life in the countries where they study.

I encourage you to be involved in International Education Week by going to our website http://iew.state.gov/. By organizing a local or regional event, you are helping to affirm the value of education and international exchange as an investment in our future. Working together we can achieve a peaceful and more prosperous world. 2006/987

Released on November 3, 2006

ENDS


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