Constituent policy

Top remaining study destination is U.S. foreign policy “priority”

Lee Satterfield, Assistant Secretary of State for the Office of Educational and Cultural Affairs, welcomed conference delegates with opening remarks.

“What you do to promote education in the United States, to bring together the best and the brightest to solve the world’s problems, is critically important,” she said.

“And it is a foreign policy priority for President Biden and Secretary Blinken…that the United States remain the world’s number one study destination for international students.”

Paying tribute to the theme of this year’s conference, Connect to the worldSatterfield said, “We do this work because we know that the experience of studying in the United States shapes both the lives of individuals and the future of our interconnected world.”

Satterfield touted some of the benefits of having international students living and studying in their host communities in the United States, from bringing their “unique cultures and perspectives” to contributing more than $31 billion to the American economy and supporting more than 300,000 jobs in the United States last year.

In addition to affirming the importance of international education, Satterfield also discussed US State Department priorities, highlighting last year’s joint statement on “Principles in Support of International Education.” .

“This statement is the first high-level U.S. government framework to support international education in two decades,” she said.

The joint declaration was also the subject of a round table during the Forum. Anthony Koliha, Director of the Office of Global Education Programs at ECA, was joined by Rafael Nevárez from the Department of Education, Marissa Tinsley from the Department of Homeland Security and Gabriela Zelaya from the Department of Commerce, to lead a conversation on the progress made on the objectives of the joint declaration and the opportunities for the future.

Zelaya said there is ongoing inter-agency collaboration on country-specific strategies for market entry and expansion. She also highlighted the task force’s export strategy which “provides a framework to collectively support the international education sector strategically.”

Additionally, Zelaya gave examples of what stakeholders can expect when the initiative officially launches this fall.

She said the five-pronged plan aims to connect U.S. institutions with overseas groups interested in U.S. education, promote the U.S. as a top study destination through marketing campaigns, highlight the importance of international education as a US export system, to align resources to promote US education in the global market and level the playing field in the export market.

Koliha said the statement supports a commitment to more strategic coordination between agencies. He also underlined that institutions are an essential component of the process, noting departments’ enthusiasm to improve outreach and engagement with stakeholders.

“They are engaged and knowledgeable…and they are full of energy and enthusiasm”

Conference organizers provided a myriad of stakeholder engagement opportunities throughout the forum, from thought-provoking sessions to a lively reception, to the Global Showcase, where Regional Education Council Coordinators and National Councilors highlighted the work they do in countries around the world to promote in-state study.

executive director of EnglishUSACheryl Delk-Le Good, shared her thoughts on Regional Coordinators and Advisors with News from the PIE. “They are engaged and knowledgeable…and they are full of energy and enthusiasm.”

Reflecting on the conference as a whole, Delk-Le Good noted, “Being here in person, laughing and exchanging ideas; there is real value and benefit to building relationships in person.

See a gallery of the event here.