Next week, Thomas Bogenschild, director, UNM Office of International Programs & Studies, will chair a discussion panel at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in a workshop on "Diversity in International Education," hosted by the American Institute For Foreign Study and Diversity Abroad.
"According to the Institute for International Education's Open Doors report, approximately 82 percent of study abroad students are Caucasian while participation by minorities continues to increase at very low rates," said William L. Gertz, president and CEO of AIFS. "This workshop will look at what is currently being done to increase diversity and more importantly, come up with new and creative initiatives that can further spark participation by students of all backgrounds."
Bogenschild said that despite UNM's status as a minority/majority institution, it follows national trends when it comes to sending minority students abroad.
He said they have internal strategies, such as offering Regents Scholarships for those needing assistance to study abroad. That includes minority students. "Because our demographic is rich, we help African American, Native American and Hispanic kids study abroad. We go to great lengths to recruit them, and disabled students, as well," he said.
"The Regents provide $200,000 annually, which funds about 200 students per year and some faculty support," Bogenschild said. He added that demand is down, which allows each student to receive a higher amount.
Of the workshop he's offering in D.C., Bogenschild said, "This is hands-on for 120 study abroad directors and advisors from colleges and universities as well as other leaders in the field of education from all across the United States," he said.
Workshop discussions will include current research, using returning students to increase diversity, the role of location as it relates to diversity, available scholarships, additional funding opportunities and outreach strategies.
The workshop is co-sponsored by the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), the Institute for International Education (IIE), and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and is funded by a grant provided by the AIFS Foundation, a not-for-profit public charity established in 1967 to help young people from many nations and diverse cultures to better understand one another.
UNM is offering a study abroad fair next week with a goal of encouraging more minorities to consider short and long term study abroad options, Bogenschild said.
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