The University of Massachusetts Celebrates International Education Week
The University of Massachusetts will join other educational institutions throughout the world in celebrating International Education Week, November 14-18. This is the sixth year in which the importance of international educational opportunities is being recognized as an important means of fostering greater understanding and cooperation among nations.
University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson said, "This annual focus on international education is more important now than ever. Recent world events have demonstrated how essential it is that we all learn more about different nations and about different cultures. At the University of Massachusetts, we have had a longstanding tradition of welcoming both students and faculty from other nations to our campuses."
President Wilson added, "In ever greater numbers, our students are venturing out for a semester or an academic year of study abroad. In the president's office we have changed the title of the vice-president for academic affairs to senior vice-president for academic affairs, student affairs and international relations. To highlight the significance of that part of our educational program, I appointed Dr. Marcellette G. Williams to that position earlier this year. She has had extensive international program experience at both the University of Massachusetts and Michigan State University and has served as interim Chancellor and in other leadership position at the University's flagship campus in Amherst."
Senior Vice President Williams stated, "In further recognition of the increasing importance of International Education, this week we are launching the University of Massachusetts International Relations Web site. This site will provide a database of study abroad programs, international research projects and international internships, among other useful information. With each passing day, we recognize ever more clearly that we are all necessary parts of an important whole - the planet that we share. As part of our responsibility in maintaining the integrity of that whole, we must insure that our younger generations -- living in different nations around the world - continue to share experiences and learn about each other's history, culture and goals. These experiences will enhance the opportunity for students in the U.S. and elsewhere to become productive citizens for a more thriving social and global economy."
Last year, 1,269 UMass students studied at colleges and universities outside of the United States, 205 more than the previous year. During the fall semester of 2004, more than 18 percent of the University's graduate students and 2 percent of its undergraduates were international students. The University educates nearly 60,000 students each year. The most popular destinations for UMass students for study abroad were the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Australia, Ireland and France.
International Week is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of State. This year's theme is International Education: Improving Student Achievement Around the World.
U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings has stated, "We are constantly reminded that we live in a borderless world in an age where information and news are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The world is indeed interconnected and what happens in any one country can be instantly transmitted worldwide. It is, therefore, very important to teach students about the world beyond their own countries."
The University of Massachusetts has more than 100 study abroad programs administered by the Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell and Worcester campuses. The University has also established partnerships with colleges and universities in a number of countries, including Germany, Lebanon, Ireland, Israel and China.