Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

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Building Brazil -U.S. Ties through Education

August 31, 2012

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Francisco Sánchez is the Under Secretary for International Trade

The first-ever U.S. Department of Commerce Education Mission to Brazil,taking place this week (August 30-Sept. 6), represents an important opportunity to further strengthen cultural and economic ties between our nations.

Under Secretary Francisco Sánchez launches the Education Fair in Brazilia, Brazil (Photo Commerce)

Under Secretary Francisco Sánchez launches the Education Fair in Brazilia, Brazil (Photo Commerce)

As the largest education mission our agency has organized to any country, I am both honored to lead this mission and enthusiastic about connecting U.S. higher learning institutions with Brazilian students seeking study opportunities in the United States.

During the mission, representatives from 66 accredited U.S. academic institutions will showcase their undergraduate, graduate, community college and intensive English language programs at Education Fairs in Brasilia, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro.

We appreciate the leadership of U.S. Ambassador Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., and the U.S. Embassy in Brazil in providing strong support for this education mission as well as their longstanding efforts to promote educational exchanges between our countries.

As Brazil works to expand educational opportunities for its professional workforce, we applaud the leadership of President Dilma Rousseff, and her country’s ambitious goal of sending 101,000 Brazilian students in science and technology fields overseas in the next four years, through her visionary initiative, Science without Borders (SWB).

We look forward to working with the Government of Brazil in achieving success in this nationwide scholarship program to promote higher education abroad. Within SWB, there are 75,000 scholarships funded by the Government of Brazil and 26,000 scholarships funded by the private sector. We want to see many of these future students in one of our exceptional educational institutions in the United States.

At the beginning of the SWB program in 2012, there were 500 Brazilian undergraduate students placed in U.S. schools, followed by an additional 1,400 students later this year. By the end of 2013, there will be 1,500 Brazilian Ph.D. students in U.S. universities.

The benefits to Brazil are numerous. There are inspiring examples of U.S.-educated Brazilian professionals who have returned to their country to strengthen development and innovation in Brazil. For example, Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation Marco Antônio Raupp earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Chicago.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) reports that there were more than 9,000 Brazilians studying in the U.S. in the 201/12 academic year, a 25 percent increase from five years earlier, placing Brazil 14th among all countries with international students in the United States. Beyond that, IIE reports there are more international students (more than 723,000) in the United States than anywhere else.

President Obama— as demonstrated through the United States’100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative—shares a commitment with President Rousseff on the need to build partnerships that address the needs of a 21st century workforce. Brazil is an important partner in this effort, and these initiatives are expected to lead to even greater educational and cultural ties between our countries.

I look forward to spending time in Brazil with the members of the education mission, and advancing the goal of opening new doors to educational opportunity and collaboration. By expanding the avenues to higher learning, we will make a longstanding contribution to future generations who hold the key to continuing our shared prosperity.

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Education Trade Mission Builds Ties Between United States and Central Europe

April 13, 2012

Adam Wilczewski is Chief of Staff at the International Trade Administration.

This week 12 regionally accredited U.S. academic institutions will take part in the first-of-its-kind education trade mission to Poland and the Czech Republic. The trade mission, which I will have the opportunity to lead, is part of a larger effort to increase the number of foreign students studying in the United States.

According to Times Higher Education, the United States is home to more than 4,000 accredited higher education institutions, and 14 of the top 20 universities in the world. Furthermore, the Institute of International Education reports there are more international students (in excess of 723,000) studying at U.S. institutions than anywhere else in the world.

University sign in autumn

(Photo iStock/Steve Shepard)

U.S. colleges and universities, such as those on this mission, place a prime importance on keeping their campuses internationally diverse, so that students can gain the most rewarding educational experience possible. And recent developments show that there is both great interest and opportunities for U.S. colleges and universities to recruit students from both Poland and the Czech Republic.

With the passage of new legislation last October, Poland is streamlining the education process—thereby raising educational standards that may further increase interest in study abroad programs such as those in the United States. Poland also has a high concentration of young students with keen interest in higher education. The country’s population of 38 million includes more than 5.5 million young people from 15 to 24 years of age, including 1.9 million students. Moreover, Polish students have a strong affinity toward the United States, and English is the first choice for a second language by almost all high school and university students.

Similarly, the number of Czech students with outstanding English language skills continues to outpace many of their neighbors in the region, improving the ability of Czech students to study at U.S. universities and colleges. And current exchange rates and the visa waiver program are making U.S. educational opportunities an increasingly attractive alternative.

Recognizing these trends points to the eagerness of the educational institutions from across the country to join me on this trade mission.

During the trade mission, our delegation will participate in student recruitment fairs in Prague and Warsaw to connect with students from European universities, secondary schools, and businesses. Trade professionals from the U.S. Department of Commerce based abroad will also be on hand to facilitate networking opportunities and meetings between our delegation and prominent Czech and Polish universities.

We look forward to visiting Warsaw and Prague, and with this, the goal of opening new doors of opportunity and cultural understanding for the next generation. By furthering the avenues to higher learning, we are also supporting economic growth both at home and abroad – and that is something to write home about.

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Ideas for Prosperity: A Conference about Education and Cooperation in the Americas

March 22, 2012

Andrew Theodotou is an intern in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs. Andrew is a sophomore at Georgetown University.

“People are our most valuable assets,” Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez pointed this out in his remarks to more than five hundred senior government officials, private sector leaders, university representatives, and students gathered at Georgetown University. The conference, held March 12-13, was officially titled “Making Latin America and the Caribbean a More Equitable Society: Education, Economic Growth, and Corporate Social Responsibility”.

The focus of the event was to facilitate a high-level dialogue on the importance of education as an economic driver for competitiveness.  The event attracted representatives from more than fifty universities throughout the hemisphere, many represented at the dean or university president level.

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez speaks at Georgetown University during the Making Latin America and the Caribbean a More Equitable Society: Education, Economic Growth, and Corporate Social Responsibility Conference

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez speaks at Georgetown University during the Making Latin America and the Caribbean a More Equitable Society: Education, Economic Growth, and Corporate Social Responsibility Conference

Each of the addresses, dialogues, and roundtable discussions specifically highlighted the need to cultivate human capital in the Americas. They encouraged cooperation between the public and private sector throughout the hemisphere to achieve this goal and stressed the benefits afforded to all parties involved.

Participants discussed new ways to foster social and economic development in the Western Hemisphere as well as initiatives that have already been put into place towards this end.

In 2010, President Obama launched the “Change the Equation Initiative”, a CEO-led effort to bolster education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Knowledge of these subjects has been identified as a key asset in today’s workforce and a powerful driver of economic growth. Many of our neighbors in the Americas have initiated similar efforts, such as El Salvador’s “Supérate”, a program sponsored by Microsoft which offers after school training in computer science and English language training.   Such programs demonstrate the increasing role that the private sector plays in improving our education systems and overall economic competitiveness.

A key focus of this event was President Obama’s 100K Strong Initiative, which seeks to increase the number of U.S. students studying in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) to 100,000 while attracting the same amount from the LAC region to study in the United States.  By increasing the number of foreign students studying in U.S. universities, this will create an increase in service exports for the United States and ultimately help stimulate domestic growth and job creation.  In addition, the event strongly focused upon forging new linkages across the hemisphere as a means of sharing best practices and identifying new ways to share research and collaborate.

Programs like these are motivated by the idea that weak education systems are a major barrier to socio-economic development, even in the United States. They are also built on recognition that cooperation is essential in the solution to this problem. If governments can work with businesses to promote workforce development, then a whole economy can grow. If businesses can play a role in teaching their workers today’s essential skills, they can create jobs. And finally, if students can collaborate with their peers in other countries, they will build a mutual understanding and facilitate positive trade relationships in the future.

The conference at Georgetown University aimed to advance these relationships, with hopes that they will fuel competitive economies and lead to a higher standard of living and greater social equality.

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International Education 101: Upcoming Education Mission to India

October 7, 2011

Carrie Bevis is an intern in the International Trade Administration’sOffice of Public Affairs. She is a second-year student at the University of Virginia.

As a student attending a university with nearly 2,000 international students from more than 140 different countries, I know firsthand how much their experiences add to the richness of my education. As an intern in the International Trade Administration (ITA), I realize how crucial international education is as one of America’s leading service exports. In fact, international education is our fifth-largest service export, bringing in more than $17.8 billion each year from tuition and student living expenses (not including the number of students attending private universities, short-term training, and the like).

Therefore, the Department of Commerce is zeroing in on India for its next education mission October 10-15. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Promotion and Director General for the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (CS) Suresh Kumar will lead the delegation of representatives of 21 U.S. graduate schools and four-year undergraduate schools to learn more about the market and to recruit bright, promising students. The education mission will stopover in New Delhi, Chennai, and Mumbai where delegates will participate in student fairs to recruit students and develop relationships between U.S. institution and Indian consultants and institutions.  According to an Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchangein2010, nearly 105,000 international students from India studied in the U.S. last year. The majority attended graduate school programs, but the department expects a greater influx into U.S. undergrad programs in the coming years as well.

India’s enormous youth population is beginning to exceed the capacity of its current higher education system. Yet, higher education is a top priority within Indian homes. Accordingly, the Government of India expects its higher-education student population to nearly triple to 40 million students by 2020. Therefore, many Indian families are sending their children out of the country to finish their education, and their top choice is the United States.

U.S. institutions value diversity and varying prospective and insight from students around the world. On behalf of the ITA, I’d like to welcome international students to American universities. You’re in for the academic and personal learning experience of your life!

 

 

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Just One Place to Go to Learn the Basics of Exporting

September 9, 2011

With the recent rerelease of A Basic Guide to Exporting, the Department of Commerce’s indispensible how-to book for U.S. exporters has been rebooted. All businesses, but most especially small and medium-sized enterprises, will want to take a look.

by Doug Barry, a senior international trade specialist in the Trade Information Center.

A Basic Guide to Exporting, a critical element in the effort to increase U.S. exports, is being redeployed this September with a revised 10th edition. Drawing on the collective experiences of hundreds of trade specialists and the wisdom garnered over a publication history dating back to 1934, A Basic Guide to Exporting presents a succinct, self-contained course—a true “Exporting 101.”

A Learnable Process

Mary Ellen Sheets (left), founder and chief executive officer of Two Men and a Truck, is one of 17 business owners profiled in A Basic Guide to Exporting, which was recently updated and reprinted by the Department of Commerce. According to Sheets, the help made available to world-be exporters by the Commercial Service is invaluable. “It is a source of information, market research, and due diligence that we know we can depend on when doing business around the world.” (photo courtesy Two Men and a Truck International Inc.)

Mary Ellen Sheets (left), founder and chief executive officer of Two Men and a Truck, is one of 17 business owners profiled in A Basic Guide to Exporting, which was recently updated and reprinted by the Department of Commerce. According to Sheets, the help made available to would-be exporters by the Commercial Service is invaluable. “It is a source of information, market research, and due diligence that we know we can depend on when doing business around the world.” (photo courtesy Two Men and a Truck International Inc.)

The revised edition, like its predecessor,treats exporting as a learnable process for readers who carefully study its 17 chapters and their accompanying case studies, which detail the experiences of small business exporters. This approach has resonated with readers since the first appearance of the 10th edition in late 2008: all 20,000 copies of that first printing were either sold or distributed within 18 months.

This newly revised edition is timely, with the National Export Initiative (NEI) now in its second year. NEI, announced by President Barack Obama in January 2010, calls for doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014 and supporting millions of new jobs. So far, the U.S. economy has already responded by posting an 18 percent increase in exports in 2010 over 2009.

SME Focus

A Basic Guide to Exporting is particularly targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them develop a strategic approach to exporting rather than passively reacting to orders from overseas buyers that happen to find them. Many SMEs have products and services that appeal to international buyers. “There may be several hundred thousand of these companies,” said Susan Lusi, director of the International Trade Administration’s Trade Information Center, which manages the book’s sales strategies. “If we can get the book in the hands of these decisionmakers, we’ll see U.S. exports increase further.”

Corporate and Government Partners

Added to the distribution mix this time will be the ability to download the book from Google Books, which handles a number of titles published by the book’s distributor, the U.S. Government Printing Office. In addition, FedEx, one of the International Trade Administration’s strategic partners, will again distribute copies of A Basic Guide to Exporting to customers that it has identified as being ready to export to new country markets.

Another critical player will be the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which will provide copies to more than 1,000 Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) as part of a larger effort to train business counselors in how to assist small businesses to export.

Under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, a percentage of business counselors in the SBDCs must be certified in export counseling. This effort will be kicked off in September in San Diego, California, at the annual meeting of the Association of Small Business Development Centers. Specialists from the Department of Commerce will join with their colleagues from SBA to conduct training sessions that will lead to certification. Additional training opportunities will be available online through tutorials based on the book.

How to Obtain the Book

Copies of A Basic Guide to Exporting are available for purchase from the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). The price is $22, including postage. Contact GPO toll free at 1-866-512-1800 or visit http://bookstore.gpo.gov/. Ask for stock number 003-009-00739-9.

The book is also available for purchase from bookstores and online retailers. In addition, the full text of A Basic Guide to Exporting will be made available online on the U.S. government’s export portal, Export.gov, at http://export.gov/basicguide/. Order forms and additional information about the book are also posted on this page.

Required Reading

The International Trade Administration will continue to offer a series of Webinars based on A Basic Guide to Exporting. Thus far in 2011, the Webinars have reached more than 8,000 business participants.

RELATED: College Teachers Return to School to Learn about Exporting

Yet another audience for the book is business faculties at universities and community colleges. One faculty member at a recent seminar on how to teach international business, which was sponsored by the business school at Michigan State University, said she had never thought to add an international dimension to her business-planning course. “I’m going to introduce export planning to this required course in the fall,” she promised. “And I’m going to use A Basic Guide to Exporting as a text.”

The TIC’s Lusi did not have exact figures on how many universities and colleges are using the book, but she guesses more than 100. “Our goal is to help create a culture of making things for export,” she explained. “U.S. companies have said loud and clear: ‘Tell us how to export and we will.’ To that end, A Basic Guide to Exporting is required reading.”

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College Teachers Return to School to Learn about Exporting

September 9, 2011

by Doug Barry, a senior international trade specialist in the Trade Information Center.

A Basic Guide to Exporting is proving to be an indispensible tool in teaching tomorrow’s business leaders how to expand into overseas markets. The importance of its role as a textbook was clear earlier this summer at the International Business Institute for Community College Faculty held on June 6–9, 2011, at the International Business Center at Michigan State University–Lansing.

RELATED: Just One Place to Go to Learn about Exporting

The Department of Commerce’s Trade Information Center (TIC) presented one of the institute’s keynote sessions, which focused on business ideas, product innovation, and global sales. Business instructors from community colleges who participated in the TIC session received copies of the book. The faculty members received instruction on how to use A Basic Guide to Exporting and related online teaching tools in both new and existing business courses. The TIC’s participation in the institute was part of the federal government’s outreach efforts under the National Export Initiative (NEI). NEI, announced by President Barack Obama in January 2010, calls for doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014 and supporting millions of jobs.

Forty-five percent of all U.S. college students are enrolled in community colleges, and the Obama administration recently announced a program to prepare more students for jobs in the manufacturing sector. The relationship between preparing more students for jobs in the manufacturing sector and increasing exports seems clear: the more products the United States makes and sells to buyers in other countries, the more jobs will be generated. Perhaps what is new is the central role to be played by community colleges.

Participants in the faculty institute, which is funded by a Department of Education grant, admitted that they knew little about international trade or exporting when they first arrived. But by the end of the week, they were buzzing with new teaching ideas. This enthusiasm could be transferred to as many as 8,000 students during the next academic year. Several of the instructors said they would immediately add an export plan writing module to their existing business-planning unit. Others said they would use the numerous case studies in A Basic Guide to Exporting to demonstrate how a small company with a good business idea, product, or service can make it big in the global market. Still others said they were astonished by the range and value of assistance available from the federal government and particularly liked what the U.S. government’s export portal, www.export.gov, has to offer.

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Day 5 -Education Mission, Wrap up and Departing Hanoi

April 8, 2011

Amanda Lawrence is an intern working with the U.S. Commercial Service

Today is the last day of events for the trade mission. Everyone traveled north to the capital Hanoi yesterday. Similar to the start of our Ho Chi Minh City visit, we began today with a market briefing. U.S. Embassy officials discussed the current education environment, highlighting opportunities and hurdles. After the briefings, we all attended an education partnering workshop at the Melia Hotel. The workshop consisted of roundtable discussions, as well as, opportunities to network with local schools hoping to create partnerships. Next, interested schools participated in matchmaking sessions with education agents arranged by the Commercial Service. Participants were very pleased with the business relationships they established as a result of meetings with over many agencies.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) organized the Hanoi Education Fair.   Fifty-six schools were present and there were over 1,200 students participating. School representatives exhibited at the fair and met with students and parents. They then had the choice of meetings similar to the day before in Ho Chi Minh City.   Alongside the fair, IIE hosted parallel sessions on studying in the United States, a visa briefing, and standardized testing, offering additional information on U.S.-Vietnam educational exchange.

The Education Mission to Vietnam and Indonesia was a great success! We’re headed home to continue developing and exploring the relationships formed during the trip and looking forward to future students coming to study here in the U.S.

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Day 4 — Education Trade Mission in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City

April 6, 2011

Amanda Lawrence is an intern working with the U.S. Commercial Service to support the Education Mission to Indonesia and Vietnam.

Everyone is very excited to kick off the Vietnam stops of the Education Mission! Yesterday was a travel day and it was nice to briefly relax before embarking on our busy day today in Ho Chi Minh City. First thing this morning we attended a market briefing session with U.S. Commercial, U.S. Consular, and EducationUSA officials. Under Secretary Sánchez welcomed us to Ho Chi Minh City and spoke of the strong growth of Vietnamese students to the United States, an average of over 30 percent in the past five years! A briefing roundtable discussed the education environment in Vietnam.

After the briefings, we all attended an Education Partnering Workshop at the Rex Hotel. The workshop consisted of roundtable discussions as well as opportunities to network with local schools hoping to create partnerships. Next, interested schools participated in matchmaking sessions with education agents. There many agencies represented and the mission participants were very pleased with the business relationships they established as a result of these meetings.

We spent the rest of the day at the student fair. The Institute of International Education organized the event, which consisted of 56 exhibitors and 1,000 participants. Each trade mission participant exhibited at the fair and met with students and parents.  They also had the choice to meet with local universities, potential recruitment partners, or have high school visits. Despite our very busy schedule, participants were very pleased with today’s meetings and fair.

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Day 3 — Education Symposium and Matchmaking in Jakarta

April 4, 2011

Amanda Lawrence is an intern working with the U.S. Commercial Service to support the Education Mission to Indonesia and Vietnam.

This morning, mission participants attended a Symposium on US-Indonesian Higher Education Partnership & Exchange at the Sampoerna Strategic Square. U.S. and Indonesian government officials discussed the importance of educational ties and improving bilateral education partnerships. Education sector executives who were also present spoke on the current industry climate.

After the symposium, the mission participants also attended several breakout sessions depending on their interests. U.S. Commercial service staff arranged one-on-one matchmaking sessions for many schools interested in meeting student recruitment agencies.  School representatives also had an opportunity to meet with local universities and explore partnership prospects.  Lastly, several school representatives visited local high schools and met with administrators, counselors, teachers, and students.

Ambassador Marciel hosted the participants at his residence for a farewell reception this evening. Many of the representatives were thrilled with the day’s events and the reception. “The US Ambassadors reception was a great event as shows the commitment  the US government has to welcome Indonesian students to study in  the USA,” said Joseph Indrawan of the University of Buffalo.  John Lorentz of Shawnee State University agreed, “a productive mission that will lead to increased educational connections between the US and Indonesia, a mission crowned with a superb reception at the US  Ambassadors residence.”

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Day 2 — Education Mission, Education Fair in Jakarta

April 3, 2011

Amanda Lawrence is an intern working with the U.S. Commercial Service to support the Education Mission to Indonesia and Vietnam.

Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez rings the gong to open the Education Fair hosted by The Putera Sampoerna Foundation.

Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez rings the gong to open the Education Fair hosted by The Putera Sampoerna Foundation. (Commerce Dept. Photo)

We spent all day at the Education Fair at Sampoerna Strategic Square in Jakarta. Each school exhibited at the fair and met students and their parents. There were 56 exhibitors and approximately 6,000 students and more than 10,000 attendees including parents attending the fair.

Many of the representatives from the schools participating in the mission have many things to say about the experience, such as “I’ve never seen an education fair so well-organized,” said Murat Tas of University of Incarnate Word. “This is really the best!” and “I was very impressed with the students — they were very articulate and asked all the right questions,” said Jayati Ghosh of Dominican University of California.

Attendance was larger than expected and Marcos Fragoso of the University of Incarnate Word said “Attendance at the fair was really really good, and the quality of the student was excellent.”

And James Reidel of University of Pennsylvania said “This mission is an excellent use of our taxpayer dollars and I’m so pleased to be part of it!”

Overall, the first education fair was a great success!

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