International Education: Its History and Promise for Today

International Education: Its History and Promise for Today

International Education: Its History and Promise for Today

International Education: Its History and Promise for Today


International education in the United States is at a significant crossroads. The magnanimity of the 102nd Congress has raised the possibility of federal financial support of international studies to a new level. The newly established governing board of the National Security Education Act can provide unprecedented coordination of federally supported international education programs. If federal financial support can be maintained and coordination achieved, the objectives of the IEA of 1966 can be realized in the 1990s. The academic community and public policy makers need to be made aware of the opportunities at hand in order for this to be possible. U.S. education generally and higher education specifically have a responsibility to improve our international capabilities in order to meet the post-Cold War challenges of a complex world.


This book is important from beginning to end: from the opening chapters on the meaning and significance of international education through the closing chapters on recent progress at the federal level and the author's considered judgment on the need for a national strategy and how coordination of effort might be achieved. in between lies the heart of the work: the first scholarly account of the frustrating saga of the International Education Act of 1966 (IEA), its birth and brief life, but longer legacy. the iea was the legislative centerpiece of President Lyndon Johnson's grand vision and proposed program for international education.

Although never funded directly, the iea remains an important landmark of federal intention. Evidence is in the widespread awareness of need it helped generate, the momentum that developed around it despite the gathering political and budgetary storms of the early Vietnam era, and the program activity it stimulated even in the absence of appropriations.

The book is timely because the unfulfilled aspects of the Johnson vision and the rationale and purpose of the iea -- that the national interest in education requires strong international dimensions -- are even more important today, more than a quarter century later, due to the growing international complexities and challenges that face us in the post-Cold War world. the book clearly contributes to the cause of helping international education receive the attention it deserves within the domestic milieu.

Now little known and generally underappreciated, President Johnson's vision and proposed program have long deserved to be accounted for in the history of major federal efforts on behalf of international understanding through education in the half century since the end of World War ii. Thanks to Professor Vestal's dedicated effort much of this . . .

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