KU News Release

Aug. 2, 2010
Contact: Christie Appelhanz, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, (785) 864-3516

KU awarded $8.9 million to train foreign language and international area specialists

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas’ leadership in international education and research once again was recognized for excellence by the U. S. Department of Education through grants to the university’s international area centers that will provide students with unique global opportunities.

Totaling $8.9 million over four years (2010-13), with specific amounts contingent on annual appropriations, the federal funds will strengthen the university’s foreign language instruction and area studies programs and provide fellowships for students studying languages such as Chinese, Arabic, Russian and Portuguese in preparation for careers in many arenas, especially government, business and education.

Four centers have been designated for funding as National Resource Centers: the Center of Latin American Studies, the Center for East Asian Studies, the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies and the Kansas African Studies Center. The centers not only support KU faculty and student research and curriculum development, but also maintain outreach programs that serve schools and educators and promote public scholarship with lectures, workshops, conferences, media broadcasts and international cultural events.

More than half of the federal funds will go directly to KU students in the form of Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships, which will be awarded by the four international area centers and the Center for Global and International Studies. The fellowships will support undergraduate and graduate students in their study of a range of languages, societies and cultures critical to national interests.

“In a global economy, it is critical to equip our students with the cultural knowledge and language skills that will lead to a deeper understanding of the world around us,” said Danny J. Anderson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, to which the centers belong. “Tomorrow’s leaders will work on an international stage, and I’m proud many will be trained right here at KU.”

— The Center of Latin American Studies will receive $2.15 million over four years. Established in 1959, the center has been awarded Foreign Language and Area Studies Graduate Fellowships since 1976 and was designated a National Resource Center in 1983-1988 and 1994-2006.

— Funding for the Center for East Asian Studies was renewed at $1.9 million over four years. The only East Asian resource center in the Great Plains region, its 51 years as a National Resource Center makes the center KU’s oldest designate.

— Funding for the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies was renewed at $2.3 million over four years. Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, the center is one of only 17 National Resource Centers for Russia and East Central Europe supported by the U.S. Department of Education.

— Funding for the Kansas African Studies Center was renewed at $1.7 million over four years. The center crystallized in the 1990s with Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships and has won National Resource Center funding three times.

— The newly established Center for Global and International Studies will receive $846,000 over four years for Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships. This funding will allow the center to support the study of a variety of languages, including several new to the KU curriculum.

“The National Resource Center grants and Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships will enhance the already substantial opportunities for students to gain international expertise both on the KU campus and through study abroad,” said Anderson.

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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