PROVO, Utah (November
16, 2000)The Kennedy Center's International Study Programs (ISP) along
with other university foreign placement programs have put
Brigham Young University in the lead for annually sending the largest number of students abroad.
Kicking off International Education Week, the findings, released Nov. 13, will be published in Open Doors 2000, the annual report on international education published by the Institute of International Education (IIE).
Rodney B. Boynton, director of ISP, credited campus colleges and departments for the move from a top-ten ranking to first place.
"As each year goes by, our faculty are becoming more involved in international issues and projects. They in turn are advising their students to become involved, often resulting in collaborative research between faculty and students," he said.
The current trend offers programs to students any semester or term year-round, Boynton indicated. "We're encouraging student participation during the regular academic semester, which will also make room for additional students to be on campus. We encourage every department to explore ways for their students to have an international experience," he emphasized. "Every student at BYU would benefit significantly from such an experience."
William B. Bader, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, noted, "By encouraging more students to participate in educational opportunities abroad, U.S. colleges and universities help expand our citizens' awareness of global issues and lay the groundwork for the kind of mutual understanding that builds a better future for all of us.
"We and the Department of Education seek to show how we all profit when school and communities engage their students in the affairs of the world beyond our own borders," he said.
Annually, BYU sends the equivalent of 30 percent of its graduating class abroad. ISP alone will send approximately 1,300 students to international locations during the 2000-2001 academic year.
"There are many non-traditional options," Boynton said, concurring with the report, which stated, "The number of U.S. students going to less-traditional destinations is growing steadily. While Europe (with 68 percent) continues to be the most popular region for U.S. students pursuing education abroad, the percentage of U.S. students studying there continues to decline each year and has fallen 18 percent since 1985-86."
The percentage of students going to Latin America has doubled since 1985, from seven percent the first year of the survey to 15 percent this year. Other regions that are attracting an increasing number of students include the Middle East (up 60 percent), Africa (up 20 percent), Oceania (up 28 percent), Asia (up 14 percent) and the Caribbean (up 33 percent).
BYU was followed by Michigan State University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Pennsylvania, New York University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Miami University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Arizona, University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.