On a recent visit to Latin America, it was increasingly clear to me that policymakers in both the public and private sector are committed to investing in higher education to develop their workforce and future leaders.
Learning, research, institution-building, and community engagement have become top priorities for many governments across Latin America in the past ten years, and an emphasis on international study as a means to advance national economic growth has been one of the keys to achieving these priorities.
The Institute of International Education has been involved in many of these developments over the years, beginning with establishing a Latin America Division at our New York headquarters in the 1930, and then through our Latin America regional office in Mexico City since 1974. Chief among the programs managed by IIE beginning in the 1970s was the ITT International Fellowship Program, which served as an exemplary model of corporate involvement in international educational exchange for 17 years.
Over the years, the Institute’s work in the Western Hemisphere has grown to include a number of dynamic initiatives related to higher education, scholarship, and fellowship programs, promoting study abroad, workforce and professional development, institutional partnership building, educational advising, and English language testing.
We have launched partnerships with a number of organizations and government agencies to build global talent in Latin America to undertake new research, develop strategic higher education links, and engage leaders in dialogue on the role of higher education institutions as incubators of innovation, workforce development, and international discourse. We have seen firsthand the tremendously positive impact of these initiatives over time, through our work with the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program, the Inter-American Foundation Grassroots Development Program, the GE Foundation Scholar Leaders Program, the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Student and Scholar Program and Humphrey Fellowships, and now with the Government of Brazil’s new Scientific Mobility Program.
A new book published by IIE this spring, Latin America’s New Knowledge Economy: Higher Education, Government, and International Collaboration, offers views from regional experts on the policies, institutions and programs that have helped bring about impressive growth and change.
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