Named USA: A Study Destination, the national association will work to promote the US as the premier destination for globally mobile students and scholars, focusing on the study state consortia as drivers.
It was launched during a milestone celebration hosted by Maryland International Education Consortium and the Department of Commerce.
Maryland Secretary of State John Wobensmith and global education leader at the Department of Commerce, Gabriela Zelaya, also attended the celebration and spoke in support of the new association and its effort to promote the US as a study destination.
“A coordinated effort would definitely help study state consortia to further strengthen their efforts”
“We are trying to provide a resource where study state consortia can communicate with each other, they are able to figure out what is working and what we can replicate across state lines and what we can do to really strengthen international education within our state and in the US in general,” Anna Wise of MIEC told The PIE News.
The association is supported by the US Commercial Services, the export promotion arm of the International Trade Administration within the Department of Commerce.
A group of study state consortia was actively involved in the inception of the association: Study Alabama, Study California, Study Florida, Study Maryland, Study Mississippi, Study Texas, Study New York and Study North Carolina.
“Several study state consortia have cropped up across the US in the last 10-15 years and with a national association, we are trying to give support, state-wide, to consortia and elevate them to national-level dialogue,” Lokesh Shivakumaraiah of Study Mississippi and spokesperson for USASD told The PIE News.
A national platform will coordinate efforts for promotion, recruitment and advocacy and will help study state consortia share best practices, he explained.
“This organisation will help develop a professional network for the study state consortia and strengthen their roles, in any kind of outreach activity they can do at regional, state and national level,” he said.
“A coordinated effort would definitely help study state consortia to further strengthen their efforts in promoting their respective states.
“The US Commercial Services representation are supporting the creation of this national platform. This will be a very beneficial organisation to further increase and help us promote education as a service export for the US,” Shivakumaraiah added.
A spokesperson of the US Commercial Services said that the ITA is encouraging the development of the national association for study state consortia.
“ITA intends to work closely with USA: A Study Destination to support increasing educational service export opportunities,” a spokesperson from the US Commercial Services said.
“This will help develop a professional network for the study state consortia and strengthen their roles”
The US Commercial Services will continue to provide export promotion support to the study state consortia to strengthen their role and outreach at the state, regional, national and international level. It will also assist with strengthening and replicating best practices for study-state-level endeavours across the US and abroad.
As a non-profit organisation, Shivakumaraiah explained, USASD will structure a board, elect officers and develop bylaws to promote its mission – including membership criteria, engagement and strategies for promoting the study states consortia at conferences abroad.
The association will be open to welcome study state consortia as full members and service providers and government partners as associate members.