UW-Madison: International and area studies centers awarded $4 million in federal grants

MADISON – Eight area and international studies centers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will receive $4 million in federal Title VI grants for the 2018-19 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.

Title VI funding is critical to maintaining international engagement, leadership and scholarship for the nation. Title VI enables NRCs to conduct research on key world regions and issues, provide training and outreach throughout the state, and support regional and international teaching on campus. These activities, which produce new generations of foreign area and strategic language experts, are essential to U.S. security and competitiveness.

UW-Madison NRCs were awarded $1.7 million, and close to $2.3 million has been designated for FLAS scholarships for the 2018 academic year. Over the four-year cycle of these awards, the university will receive $15,922,064. This is a significant increase from the previous award cycle, which totaled $13,598,024 and ran from 2014 to 2018. UW-Madison continues to be among the top universities for number of NRCs.

“These awards recognize UW-Madison’s excellence in international research, education and training,” said Guido Podesta, vice provost and dean of the International Division at UW-Madison. “Programming and activities made possible from these funds bolster strong international ties, promote community awareness on international issues, and prepare students to engage an interconnected world.”

Several UW-Madison international and area studies centers received increases since the previous competition. This year’s cycle also adds new funding for FLAS awards to be allocated by the International Studies and East Asian Studies programs. The university’s Center for East Asian Studies also received new funding as an NRC.

“It is increasingly important for our students, state and nation to be able to engage new opportunities around the world,” says UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank. “These awards will allow the university to continue its role as a national resource and leader in international and area studies.”

The centers that received NRC or FLAS (or both) awards are the: Institute for Regional and International Studies; African Studies Program; Center for East Asian Studies; Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program; Center for European Studies; Center for Russia, East Europe and Central Asia; Center for South Asia; and Center for Southeast Asian Studies.

“The competition for these awards is highly competitive,” Podesta said. “I applaud all of the UW-Madison area studies centers for their efforts on these applications. They are a tremendous amount of work.”

With the support of Title VI funding, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has trained close to 6,000 FLAS fellows, has awarded over 5,000 degrees and certificates through UW NRCs, and teaches up to 80 languages each academic year.

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