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University Relations

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Dec. 12, 2005
Contact: Todd Cohen, University Relations, (785) 864-8858.

Chancellor invited to attend University Presidents Summit in Washington, D.C.

LAWRENCE -- University of Kansas Chancellor Robert Hemenway is among a select group of higher education leaders invited to attend the U.S. State Department's University Presidents Summit next month to help develop an action plan for encouraging more students to study abroad and to encourage more foreign students to enroll in U.S. universities.

The summit, which Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Education Secretary Margaret Spellings will host, is slated for Jan 5-6 in the Truman Building, the State Department's headquarters, in Washington, D.C. Fewer than 100 education leaders are being invited to attend.

Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes announced plans for the summit earlier this fall as part of four-part diplomatic initiative to improve the nation's image and encourage increased engagement with foreign countries. Hughes said the summit's goal is "to encourage more American young people to study abroad and make sure that we continue to attract foreign students to America. And we want to tell foreign students that they are welcome in our country. We want them to come here to study and to learn."

Hughes noted that while post-Sept.11, 2001, visa delays have been reduced, the U.S. needs to make sure foreign students know that the situation is better and that they are welcome in the U.S.

This spring, KU was one of only five universities in the nation to receive the 2005 Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization from NAFSA: Association of International Educator, the largest professional organization for international educators in the world. In addition, KU and China's Ministry of Education signed a memorandum of cooperation this fall to explore establishing a Confucius Institute at KU, the third such institute in the United States. The institute would sponsor community-based Chinese language instruction, support the training and professional development of Chinese language teachers and promote outreach programs on Chinese culture.

Hemenway said KU is committed to providing its students with an international experience as part of their education. KU's efforts and accomplishments in this area include:

  • More than 100 exchange agreements with foreign institutions coordinated through the KU Office of International Programs (OIP).
  • Twenty percent of KU's graduating seniors study abroad during their time at KU, choosing from more than 100 programs in more than 50 countries. KU ranks fourth among the nation's public research institutions in the proportion of its students studying abroad.
  • KU ranks 23rd out of more than 200 large colleges and universities for the number of students who participate in the Peace Corps.
  • KU exchanges agreement with the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth has resulted in numerous interactions with international officers and KU faculty and students in its first year.
  • Through the OIP's Internationalizing the Curriculum workshop, 50 new international courses have been added to the undergraduate curriculum over the past 10 years.
  • Undergraduates are recognized for their international experiences on and off campus through the Global Awareness Program (GAP) certification on their transcripts. More than 600 students are participating in GAP in its second year.
  • KU attracts more than 1,500 international students from 100 countries and 200 international scholars to study, teach or conduct research at KU.
  • Three KU area studies programs have achieved national distinction and continuing Title VI funding. These programs -- Russian and East European studies, Latin American studies and East Asian studies -- offer majors for students seeking to immerse themselves in the language, history and culture of a world region.
  • The School of Business houses a federally funded Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).
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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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