National Foreign Language Center Awarded $1.4 Million Grant for Evaluation of International Education



National Foreign Language Center Awarded $1.4 Million Grant for Evaluation of International Education

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a five-year, $1.4 million grant to the National Foreign Language Center (NFLC) at the Johns Hopkins University to develop and implement an evaluation system for a broad range of area studies and foreign language programs in higher education authorized under Title VI of the Higher Education Act and the Fulbright-Hayes programs.

"The Title VI and Fulbright programs have played a critical role for 40 years in developing this nation's expertise in foreign languages and area studies. We at the National Foreign Language Center are honored by this unique opportunity to contribute to the continuing effectiveness of these essential programs," said NFLC Director David Maxwell. He added, "Since many of us connected with the National Foreign Language Center have been grateful beneficiaries of the Title VI and Fulbright programs, this is a rare opportunity for us to repay, if only in part, a collective debt."

The International Education and Graduate Program Service of the U.S. Department of Education made the award to the nonprofit research and policy institute-- located at The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington--because of a federal mandate for rigorous assessment of all federally funded programs by the year 2002.

"The scrutiny engendered by this mandatory evaluation process is heightened in the case of Title VI and Fulbright Hayes by the current tendency to reevaluate the focus of international education programs in light of the end of the Cold War. As a result, Title VI and Fulbright-Hays have come under increasing scrutiny," Maxwell said.

The National Foreign Language Center project will establish a Web-based, independent, free-standing system help evaluate the programs; evaluate the legislative compliance of the programs, and evaluate the effectiveness of the programs in addressing national needs for intercultural communications competence. The project will be co-directed by Dr. Richard D. Brecht, deputy director of the National Foreign Language Center, and Dr. Gilbert W. Merkx, director of the Latin American Studies Institute at the University of New Mexico.

Maxwell said that the entire project is designed to be as open and participatory as possible, eliciting input from the relevant constituencies at every stage of the process-- overseen by a National Advisory Board with representation from the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Management and Budget, and the U.S. Congress. The data collection and evaluation system will be designed by a project directorate of senior scholars in evaluation and international education and a task force of representatives of the Title VI and Fulbright-Hays community.

For more information contact: Dr. Richard Brecht, 202-667-8100, ext. 40: e-mail:

For more information, contact Felisa Neuringer Klubes at the SAIS Public Affairs Office at 202.663.5626 or

Tuesday, March 31, 1998
Press Release Type: 
Contact Person: 
Felisa Neuringer Klubes
Zip Code: 
(202) 663.5626