International Area Studies Programs at UW Madison Receive Millions in Federal Awards

UW-Madison News (August 18, 2010) — Eight of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s area and international studies programs have received a combined total of about $18 million during the next four years 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.

The NRC awards for 2010-14 total $2,210,585 per year. The FLAS awards total $2,423,500 per year.

These awards maintain UW-Madison’s national preeminence in foreign language study and international education and outreach, placing it among the top U.S. universities in number of NRCs housed. Each center competes against others nationally in the funding process, which involves peer review by scholars from around the country.

The centers are housed in UW-Madison’s International Institute, created in 1996 by the Division of International Studies and the College of Letters & Science. The institute is made up of 16 member programs that develop innovative teaching, research and outreach projects.

“Our National Resource Centers are one of UW-Madison’s great treasures,” says Gilles Bousquet, vice provost for globalization and dean of the Division of International Studies. “The competitive, prestigious nature of Title VI awards is testament to UW-Madison’s exceptional ability to train global leaders and citizens. This kind of expertise is critical to the state and the nation in a global age.”

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; Center for South Asia; and Center for Southeast Asian Studies.

“Providing a world-class education is the cornerstone of our mission at UW-Madison, and we have much of that to thank from the National Resource Centers on campus,” says Gary Sandefur, dean of the College of Letters & Science. “I am proud of the faculty and staff who continue to provide exemplary international learning opportunities and experiences to our students.”

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, the general public and other constituencies.

In addition to funding eight of the university’s area and international studies programs, the awards provide FLAS fellowships to the centers for advanced training of graduate students. 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 80 languages.

CONTACT: Masarah Van Eyck, 608-262-5590,