In 1945, as a direct response to the tragedy of World War II, Senator J. William Fulbright introduced legislation sponsoring exchange programs for students and faculty between the
One afternoon in late September, 1945 during a routine session of the United States Senate, then freshman Senator J. William Fulbright took the floor and made the following statement:
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to introduce a bill for reference to the
Committee on Military Affairs, authorizing the use of credits established abroad for the promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in fields of education, culture, and science (Johnson and Colligan, 1967).
Senator Fulbright’s proposed to fund these exchanges through the sale of surplus
In 1948 the United States Congress passed The U.S. Information and Educational Exchange Act (also known as The Smith-Mundt Act). In addition to bringing the Voice of America and other operations under the Office of International Information of the U.S. Department of State, The U.S. Information and Educational Exchange Act was established to promote better understanding of the
In 1957, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) launched the tiny Sputnik I satellite thus beating the Untied States in innovation and exploration of the new and unexplored frontier of outer space. As a result, the United States Congress passed the National Defense Education Act of 1958 (often referred to as NDEA). The National Defense Education Act highlighted the critical importance of education to national defense and was signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on
The Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (commonly known as the Fulbright-Hays Act), which was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy, is linked to much of the post-World War II legislation that provided funding to higher education in the United States. As previously mentioned, the international educational exchange and foreign language components from the original Fulbright Act of 1946 and additional legislation such as The U.S. Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (Smith-Mundt Act), amendments to The Mutual Security Act of 1951, and The National Defense Education Act (NDEA) of 1958 were consolidated into The Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (better known as The Fulbright-Hays Act). The Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act is quite extensive and it includes a variety of programs that provide funding for and have an impact on higher education in the
Scarfo (1998) notes that section 102 of the Fulbright-Hays Act authorized a range of cultural, technical and educational exchange activities but section 102(b)(6) focused entirely on education in foreign languages and area studies across American higher education (p. 24). According to the International Education Programs Service in the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) of the United States Department of Education the “Fulbright-Hays is viewed as the overseas counterpart to the domestic capacity-building Title VI programs” (of the National Security Education Act of 1958). The Fulbright-Hays Act originally provided financial support for the following four initiatives: Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA), Faculty Research Abroad (FRA), Group Projects Abroad (GPA), and Foreign Curriculum Consultants (FCC) (OPE and Scarfo, 1998). The Fulbright-Hays Act remains law today and represents the world’s flagship international educational exchange policy and program. The Fulbright Program is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.
The history of the federal government’s involvement of providing both institutional funding and individual student financial aid and scholarships packages has been both long and interesting. This cannot be more true than the federal function of financing higher education during the period of 1945 to 1961. From Senator’s proposal in 1945 to the signing of The Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act by President Kennedy in 1961, this time period saw the development of a new vision and purpose of education in the
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National Science Foundation. (2000). Science and engineering indicators. National Science Foundation. URL retrieved November 20, 2006 from the World Wide Web: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind00/access/intro.htm.
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Scarfo, R.D. (1998). The history of Title VI and Fulbright-Hays. In J.N. Hawkins, C.M. Haro, M.A. Kazanjian, G.W. Merkx and D. Wiley (Eds.), International education in the new global era: Proceedings of a national policy conference on The Higher Education Act, Title VI, and Fulbright-Hays Programs (pp. 23-25).
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