As new technologies make communication easier and faster, and geography ceases to be a barrier to international cooperation, peace and prosperity around the world will depend on increasing people's capacity to think and work on a global and inter-cultural basis.
That is why U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton have long stressed the importance of educational exchange and educational opportunity.
The Institute of International Education, a U.S.-based, non-profit organization promoting international exchange of education and training, recently released its Open Doors Report, which tracks how many foreign students study at U.S. colleges and universities, and how many U.S. students study abroad. The Report states that during the 2009-2010 school year, nearly 691,000 foreign students attended U.S. institutions of higher learning. The sharpest growth in enrollment came from the Middle East, which increased by 16 percent from the previous year. Nonetheless, Asian countries continue to send the highest numbers of students to the U.S. Enrollment of students from Asia grew by 5 percent overall, but that includes a nearly 30 percent increase in the contingent from China.
"We’re delighted that Chinese students are finding it valuable to study in our institutions of higher education," said Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock.
"Today there’s a real global expectation that no major issue can be solved without the active engagement of the United States and China working in concert together. So our common effort requires that we work together, we understand each other, we know each other, we collaborate, and we connect."
"By working together, we identify the next generation of China’s scholars, teachers, and experts," said Secretary Stock. "We identify the next generation of the United States scholars, teachers, and experts that will know each other over their lifetime, and work together.
"We welcome students studying from abroad, from China and from all over the world," she said. "We see that as an important asset for us in internationalizing our classrooms and our university campuses. It will help our students understand the more global economy, and together they’ll work on the challenges that they all face in the future."