New Federal Awards for Area, International Studies

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DATE: Wednesday, August 23, 2006

CONTACT: Ronnie Hess, Director of Communications, Division of International Studies, UW-Madison, (608) 262-5590,


Madison, WI – Eight of UW-Madison’s international and area studies programs have been awarded a combined total of nearly four million dollars per year over the next four years (2006-2010) in federal Title VI grants under the National Resource Center (NRC) and Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) programs, administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

These awards underscore UW-Madison’s leadership in regional and international studies, according to UW-Madison officials.

“UW-Madison is a leader in area and international studies and these latest awards recognize once again the excellence of our academic training, research and outreach work,” says Gilles Bousquet, the dean of International Studies. “We are ensuring that our students and our citizens are able to live and work across cultures in today’s interconnected world.”

The awards fund eight of the university’s area and international studies programs as NRCs and provide FLAS fellowships to the centers for advanced training of graduate students. The funded centers are:

African Studies Program; Center for Russia, East Europe and Central Asia; Center for East Asian Studies; Center for European Studies; Global Studies; Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program (jointly funded with UW-Milwaukee); Center for South Asia; and Center for Southeast Asian Studies. The NRC awards for 2006-07 total $1,864,629 per year. The FLAS awards total $1,951,500 per year.

The funded centers are members of the UW-Madison’s International Institute, a cross-college venture of the Division of International Studies and the College of Letters and Science, created in 1996. The Institute is a federation of 16 member programs that develop innovative teaching, research and outreach projects.

Bousquet, who is also director of the International Institute, says the Title VI funding will enable UW-Madison to continue offering a wide range of activities that provide depth and breadth in international training across the UW-Madison campus, including the professional schools as well as the humanities and social sciences.

According to Bousquet, it is unusual and especially prestigious to have so many NRCs at one campus. Each center competes against others nationally in the funding process, which involves peer review by scholars from around the country. Selection indicates excellence.

NRCs are funded by the U.S. Department of Education to ensure the training of regional and international specialists in a wide variety of discplines, support language instruction, and serve as a resource for K-16 teachers, the general public and other constituencies.

FLAS fellowships are awarded to graduate students to allow them to study targeted modern foreign languages, especially those that are less commonly taught. UW-Madison has one of the most extensive language training programs of any American university, with the capacity to teach more than 60 languages.