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April 2022 Advocacy Updates 

Coalition for International Education:
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Alliance on International Exchange: 

On March 15, the President signed the $1.5 trillion FY22 omnibus spending bill into law. The omnibus includes a 6.7 percent increase for non-defense discretionary programs, the largest increase in four years. It funds educational and cultural exchange (ECE) programs at $753 million - a $12.7 million increase from FY21 enacted level, and an $11.7 million increase from the Biden Administration’s funding request. Additionally, the bill includes language which could help modernize consular operations through consideration of lessons learned from the pandemic and the feasibility of interview waivers, remote visa interviews, and other improvements. The Omnibus also provides funding for additional DOS personnel to eliminate backlogs and expedite Afghan Special Immigrant Visas (p. 1493) while the joint explanatory statement provides increased protection for threatened and displaced scholars through the Scholar Rescue program (p. 14). The Biden Administration has recently released its proposed budget for FY23. The request for ECE is the same as FY22 at $741.3 million.

In other news, the Department of State released a proposed rule in December which, if enacted, would increase visa processing fees for students and exchange visitors by 53%. The Alliance collected input from our members and recently submitted a comment letter in opposition to the increased fees.


June 28, 2021: AIEA co-signs letter from the Coalition for International Education to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies recommending funding for International Education and Foreign Language Studies (including HEA-Title VI and Fulbright-Hays 102(b)(6) programs)

April 27, 2021: AIEA co-signs letter to senate leaders on Title VI: Letter to Senate Leaders (.pdf) 

April 22, 2021: AIEA co-signs letter to Secretary of State Anthony Blinkin on travel bans and exchange visas: Letter to Secretary of State (.pdf) 

March 30, 2021: AIEA co-signs statement on human rights and violence against higher education institutions in Myanmar and globally: Statement from international education associations (.pdf)

AIEA Advocacy and COVID-19 

  • March 22, 2021: AIEA co-signs letter to U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security regarding international students and the Fall 2021 semester: ACE letter (.pdf)
  • April 30, 2020: AIEA signs letter to Secretary Pompeo, Acting Secretary Wolf, and Secretary Scalia in response to the April 22 White House executive order regarding immigration during the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as pressing issues for colleges and universities concerning the upcoming fall semester: ACE Letter (.pdf)
  • March 18, 2020: AIEA signs letter to Congress: COVID-19 Relief for International Exchange Industry (.pdf) 

February, 2020: A large number of AIEA members were quoted in the Inside Higher Ed article "Will Coronavirus Crisis Trigger an Enrollment Crisis?"

Washington Update - 2018 AIEA Annual Conference Presentation 
Thomas Bogenschild, Miriam A. Kazanjian, Ilir Zherka

Letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committee Leadership regarding FY2018 Appropriations (.pdf) 

AIEA Advocacy Report - Spring 2016: Federal policy issues 

The FY 17 budget process is in full swing, and AIEA has been active in monitoring and supporting actions to preserve and extend federal support for international higher education in key departments and agencies. As discussed at an Advocacy panel session at the recent AIEA Conference in Montréal, the Administration’s FY17 budget included some good news, particularly in various exchange programs administered through the Department of State, and some mixed news for HEA-Title VI/Fulbright-Hays programs administered through the Department of Education. 

AIEA has posted the conference power point presentations of panel participants Mark Overmann, of the Alliance for International Education, and Miriam Kazanjian, of the Coalition for International Education, on the AIEA web page for reference and detailed information on proposed funding for various IE programs. 

On the HEA-Title VI/Fulbright-Hays front, while the Administration’s budget proposed level funding for Title VI, conference participants were alerted to the Administration’s proposed 69% cut in the Fulbright-Hays programs (not to be confused with the ‘regular’ Fulbright programs administered through the State Department which were pegged at level-funding levels). Immediately after the conference AIEA joined with other organizations participating in the Coalition for International Education to work with key Senate and House leaders to help preserve FY 2016 levels and seek a $6.5 million increase in funding in the upcoming FY 2017 appropriations process. Consultant Miriam Kazanjian led successful efforts on both the House and the Senate side to mobilize leadership and support to propose ‘robust funding’ for a range of international education programs housed under HEA-Title VI and Fulbright-Hays programs. 

House and Senate action took the form of ‘Dear Colleague’ letters to chairs of key appropriations subcommittees, urging strong support for robust funding of international education. On the House side some 43 members signed a letter proposing “at least” FY 2016 funding levels; the Senate letter requested a $6.5 million increase over FY 2016 levels and was signed by 21 Senators. Copies of these letters are available on the AIEA web page under ‘Advocacy.’ Thanks to all AIEA members who helped mobilize congressional support for these initiatives. 

As the appropriations process continues in the weeks ahead, additional advocacy work will be needed to prevent any cuts and support for the Coalition’s proposal to increase Title VI/Fulbright-Hays by $6.5 million in FY 2017. Attached to this report and for posting on AIEA’s website is the Coalition’s March 3 letters to House and Senate appropriations leadership on this issue, signed by 30 associations. We encourage AIEA members to brief their government relations officers to help multiply the message. In addition, as was the case last year, Miriam is working with the National Humanities Alliance to post on its website another e-mail Action Alert page for individuals to write to their Congressional Members, to be activated shortly. 

House Appropriations Letter(.pdf): 
FY 2017 Funding for International Education and Foreign Language Studies: The Higher Education Act–Title VI and Fulbright-Hays 102(b)(6) 

Senate Appropriations Letter (.pdf): 
FY 2017 Funding for International Education and Foreign Language Studies: The Higher Education Act–Title VI and Fulbright-Hays 102(b)(6) 

Past Updates  

Fulbright-Hays Letter (FY2017)  

Letter of Support for Turkish Scholars - 2016 

Briefing Report - 2015 

Advocacy Archive 

Letter of Thanks to Senator Lugar

AIEA Past President Gil Merkx and AIEA Executive Director Darla Deardorff speak to the National Conference of State Legislatures, January 2012

Contacting the Congress
Click here for a user-friendly and updated resource

International Exchange: Making a Positive Impact in California and Across America

Coalition for International Education on ESEA: International and Foreign Language Education
Letter to Secretary Duncan on HEA-Title VI and Fulbright-Hays

CIE - Additional Talking Points (Feb, 2011)

CIE Memo

HR 4065

Bill Summary and Endorsements

Background Information: K-12 International & Foreign Language Education

Final letter sent from the Alliance for International & Cultural Exchange and the Coalition to Senate offices on Senator Coburn's amendment
Letter on Coburn Amendment

Help for Haiti: Education
Information on this Initiative
Blog Post on Help for Haiti