Coalition of 500+ College and University Leaders Applauds U.S. Government’s Renewed Commitment to International Education and International Students and Scholars


July 26, 2021
Contact: Jose Magaña-Salgado (

Washington, D.C.—Today, the federal government–through the Secretaries of State and Education –  released a joint statement, Reengaging the World to Make the United States Stronger at Home: A Renewed U.S. Commitment to International Education. This joint statement of principles emphasizes the shared commitment of the federal government across agencies to international education, including the importance of international students and scholars to the economy, research, innovation, national security, and more. Representing the first joint statement in over 20 years, the principles recognize that international students and scholars are critical in promoting cooperation and understanding between nations, and articulate the importance of a comprehensive international student recruitment and retention strategy.

Miriam Feldblum, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, stated: “College and university leaders welcome the renewed U.S. government commitment to international education, and are particularly pleased to see the emphasis on welcoming international students. College campuses and the communities they serve have seen firsthand the enormous benefits of engaging with the world through education. They also have experienced significant losses to our communities as we suffered four consecutive years of declines in new international student enrollments. This new interagency commitment to engaging with the world is a vital step in restoring our place in the world.” 

Louis Caldera, Co-Founder of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration and Co-Chair of the Alliance’s Steering Committee and former president of the University of New Mexico, stated: “We are delighted that the Biden administration recognizes the value of international education to U.S. technological, scientific, and economic competitiveness and as a tool for diplomacy and global progress. We trust that the policies that follow this joint statement will help re-establish U.S. preeminence in international education, an extremely competitive and important sector of our economy that was severely undermined by the policies of the last administration. American students gain a global perspective and the American economy benefits when our campuses are global centers of education and inquiry that welcome international students, scholars, researchers and collaborations.” 

Jill Welch, senior policy advisor to the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, stated: “There has long been a need for a coordinated approach both within and outside of government to fully leverage the power of international education. Whether we want to strengthen our educational institutions, grow the U.S. economy and create jobs, prepare for the next global crisis, ensure national security, or modernize our immigration system, international education is an often underused resource. There is a broad cross-section of communities who all have a stake in whether the U.S. remains the preeminent destination for the world’s best and brightest, and we applaud the State and Education Departments for taking a leadership role in renewing our nation’s commitment to this vital resource.” 


The nonpartisan, nonprofit Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration brings college and university presidents and chancellors together on the immigration issues that impact higher education, our students, campuses, communities and nation. We work to advance just immigration policies and practices at the federal, state, and campus level that are consistent with our heritage as a ‘nation of immigrants’ and the academic values of equity and openness. The Alliance is composed of over 500 presidents and chancellors of public and private colleges and universities, enrolling over five million students in 43 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico.