On Thursday, November 30, Congressman David Price (D-NC) and Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA) introduced legislation to reauthorize Title VI of the Higher Education Act. HEA-Title VI supports foreign language and international education programs at colleges and universities which help to educate citizens as they engage with diverse cultures both at home and around the globe.
The "Advancing International and Foreign Language Education Act' will increase and expand existing foreign language and area studies programs across the country; build international education capacity at minority-serving institutions; and promote opportunities for students and professionals to increase their knowledge of world regions, international business, and over 200 foreign languages at all levels of higher education. This bill is part of the Democratic higher education legislative campaign--Aim Higher.
"Investment in cultural and language education is essential to boosting our nation's economic and intellectual competitiveness," said Rep. Price. "For too long, the U.S. has neglected incorporation of international education and foreign language programs in academic curricula. With the reauthorization of HEA-Title VI, we are hoping to change that, giving Americans the tools to succeed in economic, governmental, and cultural arenas that are international in scope."
"I'm proud to support this bill because it speaks to the importance of investments in international education experiences," said Rep. Davis "Given today's competitive global market, our students need opportunities to live and study abroad so that they can bring that valuable expertise back to benefit our country"
"The Coalition for International Education heartily supports the "Advancing International and Foreign Language Education Act' as a significant step forward for HEA-Title VI and for U.S. international education overall," said Miriam Kazanjian of the Coalition for International Education. "The bill addresses our nation's human resource needs for successful global engagement, security and economic competitiveness in the more complex world of the 21st century."
The "Advancing International and Foreign Language Education Act' will:
Fund Title VI programs at $125 million in FY18 and index to inflation for each successive fiscal year;
Extend authorization of six currently funded programs: National Resource Centers; Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships; Language Resource Centers; Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Programs; American Overseas Research Centers; and Centers for International Business Education and Research;
Modernize and streamline five existing programs into two new programs that address the 21st century needs for educational opportunities that promote language, cultural, and business competencies for students, teachers, and employers; and
Codify an existing grant process that allows the Secretary of Education to give priority to qualified minority-serving institutions or institutions of higher education that apply for grants and propose significant and sustained collaboration with a minority-serving institution.