US: Big cuts to international programmes

When a chart of all cuts in the 2011 budget passed by the US congress on Thursday was made public earlier last week, international education advocates received an unpleasant surprise: funding for foreign language and area studies programmes within the Education Department could be cut by as much as $50 million, rolled back to levels last seen before 9/11, writes Libby A Nelson for Inside Higher Ed.

"There was no advance hint that it was on the target list," Carl Herrin, senior partner at consulting firm Global Education Solutions, said about international education. For the past decade, programmes dealing with strategic languages and regions have enjoyed bipartisan support and steadily increasing federal dollars. But for these programmes, and for other, smaller initiatives within the Education Department, the 2011 budget could herald a new era, as a wave of spending cuts and increased pressure to deal with deficits will force legislators to set strict priorities.
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