U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the United States has “never been more eager” to welcome foreign students and to send Americans to study abroad:
"As the global center of gravity shifts from West to East, and as regions like the broader Middle East struggle to embrace democratic reform, American students must be at the forefront of our engagement with countries like China and India, Iraq and Afghanistan."
Several things should be done to increase educational exchanges, Secretary of State Rice said. First, exchange programs "with proven records of success" should be expanded. One such is the Fulbright Scholarship Program, which has brought a quarter of a million students from one-hundred eighty-five countries to study in the United States over the past six decades. Second, said Ms. Rice, education exchanges should be sought with countries from "strategic" areas:
"And here we're faced with massive untapped potential. There's a multitude of eager young people out there just waiting to hear from us. In the Philippines, for example, for every one student accepted to study in the United States, we in the State Department receive twenty-two serious inquiries about doing so. In Morocco, that ratio is thirty-three to one; and in Colombia it's forty to one. Countries like Nepal and Zimbabwe and Malaysia and Mongolia have similar stories. We must find a way to help these students to realize their dreams - studying in America - because if we do not reach them, others will."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that U.S. universities should be made more accessible to talented underprivileged students and to students of diverse backgrounds. She also said that U.S. visa policies should be improved to achieve "a balance between openness and security."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.