Biden Administration renews commitment to international education

Sharon Butler
Sharon Butler
is EVP, Global Education at Flywire.

The Biden administration recently added its voice to the chorus of students and universities that are ready to kickstart global education, another step towards resuming pre-pandemic levels of international learning.

In a joint statement by the Department of State and Department of Education, leaders from both federal agencies said that putting a priority on international education is a critical step towards the collaboration that the United States and the world need to solve today’s pressing global challenges.

“All Americans need to be equipped with global and cultural competencies to navigate the ever-changing landscapes of education, international business, scientific discovery and innovation, and the global economy,” the statement read. “International education enhances cultural and linguistic diversity, and helps to develop cross- cultural communication skills, foreign language competencies, and enhanced self-awareness and understanding of diverse perspectives.”

What it says

Overall, the statement is a federal endorsement of global education. Specifically, the departments committed to:

  • A coordinated approach to international education for students in the U.S. seeking to study abroad, and foreign students seeking to study in the U.S.
  • Partnering with schools, governments, NGOs, and businesses to support international education.
  • Focusing on international education as part of the COVID-19 recovery in order to rebuild the U.S. economy and promote equity in international education.
  • Welcoming scholars from around the world to study in the U.S.
  • Encouraging overseas study for scholars in the U.S.
  • Promoting access to international education via in-person and digital experiences.

Why it matters

The statement was high-level and did not offer any concrete deliverables, but marked the first time in over twenty years that the federal government has taken a positive and proactive approach to international education.

It is significant because it comes at a time when the world is looking at international education to bolster the recovery of the global economy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Simply put, international education is an economic imperative. Sending scholars from the U.S. equips our country with the tools needed to solve global and domestic problems. At its core, the “people-to-people” relationships that global education fosters are instrumental to enhancing national security, the economy, and research and innovation.

This momentum also reflects the sentiment of students, who are eager to travel the world to study again. According to a recent report by Flywire, which surveyed more than a thousand students in the U.S., U.K., China, Australia and Canada, 63% of students are either already studying abroad, or plan to. The students cite new cultural experiences (47%) and academic reputation of institutions abroad (43%) as some of the key drivers of pursuing international education.

The joint statement is an enthusiastic nod to other countries, schools, and students: global education is back.

Want to learn more?

In addition to the “A Renewed U.S. Commitment to International Education” statement, we invite you to check out the following resources to discover why Flywire is the Trusted Choice of millions of students, thousands of institutions and hundreds of education agents and partners worldwide:

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