Seven international centers at UW-Madison receive federal grants

Seven area and international studies centers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will receive more than $3.4 million in federal Title VI grants for the 2014-15 academic year under the National Resource Centers (NRC) and Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships programs, administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, UW-Madison has been awarded $1,641,580 for NRCs and $1,776,000 for FLAS scholarships for 2014. Over the four-year cycle of these awards, UW–Madison stands to receive nearly $13.7 million for these programs through 2018.

The latest round of awards recognizes and maintains UW–Madison’s national preeminence in international research, education and outreach. UW–Madison has consistently been among the top U.S. universities in number of NRCs.

“UW-Madison has the type of international expertise that is more essential than ever to Wisconsin and the nation in our increasingly inter-connected world,” says Chancellor Rebecca Blank. “I am proud that we can make these resources available to help prepare our students to live and work in a global marketplace.”

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

UW-Madison’s NRCs are housed in the International Institute, which was created in 1996 by the Division of International Studies and the College of Letters and Science.

Each of the centers at UW–Madison submitted an application, which, along with applications from other institutions across the nation, underwent peer review by scholars. Federal funding for international education has tightened considerably in recent years, making the 2014 process especially competitive.

“In today’s highly competitive environment, the number and size of these awards affirm the importance and quality of our centers,” says Guido Podesta, vice provost and dean of the Division of International Studies. “I want to recognize and congratulate the faculty and staff in the centers who put together these successful applications.”

The centers that received awards are: African Studies Program; Center for Russia, East Europe and Central Asia; Center for European Studies; Global Studies; Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program; Center for South Asia; and Center for Southeast Asian Studies.

The FLAS awards provide fellowships to the centers for advanced training of graduate students. FLAS fellowships are awarded to graduate and undergraduate students to allow them to study world regions and targeted modern foreign languages, especially those that are less commonly taught. UW-Madison has the capacity to offer instruction in more than 60 languages.

– by Kerry G. Hill