Federal Budget Cuts May Affect Foreign Language Education at CIC Universities
Apr 14, 2011, 16:29 PM
The federal budget plan expected to be approved by Congress this week would make deep cuts in international and foreign language programs at CIC universities. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported today that the reductions to two programs authorized under...
The federal budget plan expected to be approved by Congress this week would make deep cuts in some international and foreign language programs at CIC universities.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reported today that the reductions to programs authorized under two federal laws, Title VI of the Higher Education Act and the Fulbright-Hays Act, "would slash funds for these Department of Education programs by 40 percent, or $50 million, reducing their allocation to $76 million."
CIC members host 40 international and area studies centers -- covering areas from Africa to Western Europe -- that have been awarded National Resource Center status by the U.S. Department of Education’s International Education Programs Service. CIC campuses receive 32 percent of available National Resource Center funding under Title VI, totaling more than $11.6 million.
CIC institutions currently offer courses in more than 120 less commonly taught languages, and the consortium helps to further broadcast and open access to those courses to more students via CourseShare, its long-distance education collaborative initiative.
The Chronicle article cited examples from Ohio State University and the University of Michigan of how the cuts would affect international and language education on those campuses.
At Michigan, the funding loss may cause the university to cut courses in "Thai, Bengali, Indonesian, and other less-commonly taught languages."
"There needs to be a place for these languages to be taught in America," Mark Tessler, vice provost for international affairs at the University of Michigan, told the Chronicle.
At Ohio State University, cuts could mean layoffs for about 30 staff members at the institution's six centers, said William I. Brustein, the university's vice provost of global strategies and international affairs.
"They would be bare bones and without legs," he told the Chronicle.
For more information on CIC CourseShare, please visit www.cic.net/CourseShare