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International-Education Conference Focuses on Ethics and Access [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

April 7, 2008

By Karin Fischer, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Discussions of access and ethics dominated as the Forum on Education Abroad convened its annual meeting here on Thursday. The conference, which ends today, drew some 700 participants from colleges, overseas-study providers, and foreign host institutions, a turnout that is unprecedented in the consortium’s six-year history.

Also unprecedented is the amount of attention now being paid to international education. As a growing premium is placed on workers who can function in a multilingual and multicultural environment, educators, business leaders, and public officials have called for a substantial expansion in the number, and diversity, of students who study abroad.

Meanwhile, the attorneys general of New York and Connecticut have opened inquiries into the business relationships of college overseas-study offices and outside providers, actions that have spurred the Forum on Education Abroad and other international-education groups to take a tougher look at their own practices. The forum, whose 300 members include American and overseas colleges and outside providers, last month released a code of ethics for study abroad.

The two dynamics of the growing public interest in and scrutiny of international education appear to have largely driven the agenda here. Over the two-day conference, a half-dozen sessions will focus on ethical standards; those that have been held thus far have been standing-room only. Click here to read the rest of the article (subscription required).

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