Alexandra Lowe Lees on
Monday, October 20, 2014
On Monday, September 22, 2014, His Majesty the King of Spain began his first official visit to the United States since his proclamation to the throne in June. We were honored and thrilled King Felipe selected the Institute of International Education (IIE) to be his first U.S. public appearance to speak with a select audience, including many U.S. and Spanish students and alumni from the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Program. The event focused on academic exchange and collaboration between Spain and the United States and the critical role of international education in addressing world challenges.
Last month I met with Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, the new Minister of Education and Research in Norway, who was in Washington, DC, for the annual Transatlantic Science Week organized by the Royal Norwegian Embassy. We spoke about higher education internationalization in Norway and the priorities for academic collaboration with the United States. Mr. Røe Isaksen, who holds a MA in Political Science from the University of Oslo, also spent one year in the United States as a student at Carl Junction High School in Missouri.
Bulgaria has the lowest levels of public spending on education in the EU. Many of the school facilities are old and crumbling. There are barely any public funds available for building 21st century classrooms equipped with multi-media facilities and language labs. Moreover, there are no public funds for modernizing the Bulgarian school curriculum or for teacher professional development.
When you design a new program, you are optimistic but never know exactly how it will turn out. Will the program be as successful as envisioned? Will it meet its objectives? So, it was with excitement that I watched the following video about the 10-year anniversary of the GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program in Central Europe.
Earlier this summer I had the pleasure of participating in a study tour sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to learn about the German higher education landscape. It was a particularly exciting time to visit the country. The European soccer championship was underway, and German universities were awaiting the announcement of the results of the second phase of the Excellence Initiative.