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NAFSA announces Simon Award winners

Seven universities and colleges have been recognised for excellence in international education by NAFSA in this year’s Senator Paul Simon Awards for Campus Internationalisation, and will be honoured at an event in Washington, DC during the association’s International Education Week later this year.

Rutgers University - Newark welcomes more than 1000 international students every year

Only 1% of college students in the US study abroad each year

The awards honour the late Senator Paul Simon of Illinois, a strong supporter of international education and foreign language learning

Columbus State University, North Carolina State University, The Ohio State University and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey will receive the 2014 Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalisation, which recognises excellence in integrating international education across all aspects of higher education campuses.

Albion College, George Mason University, and the University of Texas at Austin will receive the 2014 Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award for a specific international programme or initiative that contributes to comprehensive internationalisation.

NAFSA’s Executive Director and CEO Marlene Johnson called these institutions “excellent models for how higher education across the country can and must innovate to prepare our students for the global economy we live in today”.

The awards honour the late Senator Paul Simon of Illinois, a strong supporter of international education and foreign language learning. They promote strategic integration of international and intercultural dimensions into the ethos and outcomes of higher education.

NAFSA has also urged congress to support a further initiative that aims to boost study abroad among US college students, only 1% of whom study abroad each year.

The Simon Study Abroad Programme would provide federal grants to higher education institutions to enable one million students to study abroad for credit annually by 2020. It would aim to ensure these students reflect the undergraduate population in terms of gender, ethnicity, income level and subject, and to promote a significant proportional growth in the number heading to non-traditional destinations outside Western Europe.

The inspiration for the programme was Simon’s National Security Education Programme, which addresses national security deficiencies in language and cultural expertise.

Institutions receiving this year’s Simon Awards will be featured in NAFSA’s report, Internationalizing the Campus: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities, which will be published later this year.

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