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Six international centers awarded four-year grants totaling $14.7 million

10/6/2010 | Matt VanderZalm, International Programs and Studies | 217-244-1724; mvanderz@illinois.edu

[ Email | Share ] CHAMPAIGN,Ill. — Six centers at the University of Illinois dealing with international areas and issues have received $14.7 million in federal grants to continue their programs through the current and next three academic years (2010-2014).

The six Title VI grants, awarded recently by the U.S. Department of Education, are funding five campus centers designated as National Resource Centers – East Asian Studies; Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Global Studies; Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies; European Union Studies – as well as the Center for International Business Education and Research.

The centers support international curricula, library collections and conferences, and provide outreach to local and regional K-12 educators related to their world region. Hundreds of faculty members from departments across the Illinois campus are affiliated with one or more of these centers.

The grants for the five National Resource Centers include funding for Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships, which support graduate and undergraduate study in modern foreign languages in combination with area or international studies.

In addition to languages such as Spanish, French, and German, these fellowships can cover costs for learning what are designated as “less commonly taught languages,” such as Korean, Hindi, Turkish, Quechua, and many others.

“These six grants reaffirm Illinois’ standing as one of the leaders in international and area studies,” said Wolfgang Schlör, interim associate provost for international affairs.

“The funding that comes with these grants will allow us to further strengthen our international curriculum and support students who want to achieve foreign language proficiency,” Schlör said. “It will also help us to share our international expertise with the community.”

The five National Resource Centers are jointly contained within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and International Programs and Studies, while CIBER is a joint program of the College of Business and IPS.

Title VI was introduced as a part of the National Defense Education Act in 1958 as a means of promoting language development, with a focus on less commonly taught languages. Today, National Resource Centers, Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships, and International Research and Studies remain central programs in the Title VI array, evolving and expanding what they focus on in reaction to and in anticipation of global trends and security needs.

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