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Press Release

Institute of International Education and U.S. Department of State Lead Higher Education Delegation to Build Linkages between Russia and the United States

Leaders from seven U.S. Colleges and Universities Visit Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan

MOSCOW, March 2, 2011—The Institute of International Education (IIE) with support from the U.S. Department of State is leading a delegation of U.S. higher education government officials and high level administrators from seven U.S. colleges and universities to meet with their higher education counterparts in Russia from February 27 to March 5. The visit was organized under the auspices of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission (BPC) and promotes increased partnerships between higher education institutions from the two countries. The Commission was created by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dimitri Medvedev in 2009, to improve coordination between the United States and Russia and to address shared challenges and explore new opportunities for partnership in areas of mutual interest.

Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education, is leading the delegation with Alina L. Romanowski, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Academic Programs and co-chair of the education sub-working group under the Education, Culture, Sports and Media Working Group, which is co-chaired by Judith McHale, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, and Ambassador Mikhail E. Shvydkoy. Several other government and non-governmental delegations are convening in Russia this week under the auspices of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission.

Allan E. Goodman states, “With the significant reforms taking place in Russian higher education, through the creation of new types of universities, the introduction of standardized entrance exams, and the growing governmental and institutional support to attract foreign scholars and experts to Russia, the Institute sees this as a key moment to introduce leading U.S. and Russian educational representatives to one another and to promote opportunities for collaboration in international education.”

The institutions taking part in the 2011 U.S. University Presidents’ Delegation to Russia include Lehigh University, Montclair State University, North Carolina State University, University of Arizona, University of California, Los Angeles, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and University of South Carolina Upstate. Representatives from these U.S. institutions are participating in this week-long study tour in Russia, visiting potential partner campuses and international organizations in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan. While in Moscow the U.S. delegation is visiting the National University of Science and Technology (MISIS), the Higher School of Economics, and Moscow State Technical University.

The U.S. delegation are joining their Russian counterparts, rectors and vice-rectors from many of Russia’s leading universities, at a one-day conference on March 1 dedicated to “U.S.-Russia University Cooperation: New Opportunities.” The high-level conference was opened by key representatives of the U.S. and Russian governments, including U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle, Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, Andrei Fursenko, U.S. and Russian co-chairs of the Education Working Group, Bilateral Presidential Commission, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Alina L. Romanowski and Director of the Department of International Integration, Russian Ministry of Education and Science, Igor Protsenko.

The afternoon panel sessions and roundtable discussions highlighted issues of international collaboration through educational exchange programs, collaborative research projects, university partnerships, dual degree programs. The day’s events were capped with closing remarks by Yuri Sergeevich Karabasov, First Deputy Head of the Education Committee, Russian State Duma, and by a formal reception hosted by U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle and his wife Jocelyn Greene at their Moscow residence, Spaso House.

The delegation will also visit higher education institutions and international organizations in St. Petersburg, including the St. Petersburg State Mining Institute, St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University and St. Petersburg State University of Information Technology. They will be guests at a reception hosted by the U.S. Consul General in St. Petersburg, Sheila Gwaltney. In Kazan they will be hosted by the Ministry of Education and Science, Republic of Tatarstan, and they will visit the Kazan State Technical University, the Kazan State Technological University, and the Kazan Federal University.

According to Open Doors, a report published annually by IIE with support from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State, in the 2009/10 academic year 4,827 students from Russia were studying in the United States. In the 2007/08 academic year, more than 1,798 students from U.S. colleges and universities received credit for study abroad in Russia. The Fulbright Program, administered by IIE in Russia, is responsible for supporting over 200 U.S. and Russian exchange participants between the U.S. and Russia annually.

About the Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of over 20 offices worldwide and over 1,000 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.