The Catholic University of America

Jan. 6, 2006

CUA President Attends University Presidents Summit on International Education

Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., university president

This week Catholic University's Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., joined more than 70 other college and university leaders at a high-profile two-day meeting held to discuss issues related to international relations and U.S. higher education. He was the only Washington, D.C.-area university president in attendance.

The Jan. 5-6 U.S. University Presidents Summit on International Education is being hosted at the State Department building in Washington, D.C., by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. Secretaries Rice and Spellings called the summit, organized by the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, "to initiate a dialogue on the need for government to work collaboratively with the non-governmental sector on the future of U.S. higher education in a global arena," according to the U.S. Department of Education's Web site.

President George W. Bush delivered remarks to summit participants Thursday afternoon.

"Institutions of higher learning in the United States benefit greatly from the presence of international students and faculty on campus and their active involvement in the educational enterprise," Father O'Connell said. "Similarly, opportunities for students and faculty to study, teach and research in other countries around the globe enrich their learning and their lives. I am grateful for this occasion to represent The Catholic University of America by participating in this summit and to learn ways that CUA might increase its strategic presence in international educational markets through academic collaborations and partnerships."

Summit attendees have been invited from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and include leading public and private research institutions, as well as community colleges, historically black institutions, Hispanic-serving institutions, religiously affiliated institutions and women's colleges. Also invited are the principal presidential higher education associations and the heads of the federal science and humanities bodies.

According to the summit hosts' press materials, the summit will focus on how to attract foreign students and scholars to study in the United States, as well as how to encourage more American students to receive part of their education abroad. In addition, participants will discuss marketing of U.S. higher education programs abroad, reaching out to underserved populations, understanding visa and regulatory processes, cooperating to meet exchange priorities and utilizing fully the international education resources of community colleges. The summit will also draw attention to the key investments required to strengthen international higher education for Americans, including increasing access to study abroad, encouraging non-traditional study abroad locations, strengthening non-traditional language acquisition, developing dynamic international strategies at U.S. universities and colleges, and engaging the public and private sectors in a shared national vision for the future.

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Media contact(s):
· Chris Harrison, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,
· Katie Lee, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,