academic exchange

A proposed new Afghanistan-Iran university to undertake joint research and engineering projects, announced by the two governments last month, is being seen as part of a broader Iranian strategy to counter its international isolation brought about by Western economic sanctions over its nuclear programme. Collaboration in higher education, research and science is a key part of Iran’s ‘soft power’ strategy, with a large number of cross-border projects in the pipeline, in particular in Islamic countries

A seminar on cross-border dialogue through books and television, part of the two-day Charar Forum on Public diplomacy in Hebei Province, emphasized how cooperation on joint media projects can strengthen bilateral ties.

India is taking steps to expand links with Russian universities in an effort to reach out to this country’s younger generation... last week India’s Ambassador to Russia Ajai Malhotra signed an agreement on establishing a Centre of Indian Studies at the Kazan Federal University that will be headed by an Indian professor.

The Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship will allow U.S. citizens to contribute to the strengthening of the public sector abroad by serving in professional placements within foreign government ministries or institutions while simultaneously carrying out an academic research/study project.

Each year, about a quarter of a million Americans study abroad. For many of them, a summer or a semester in a foreign country involves more than just sitting in classrooms and hanging out with other American students. Instead, they are required to be involved in the local communities where they are studying.

India and New Zealand have decided to establish a joint education council to carry forward the education cooperation between the two countries. Both the countries have already signed an Education Exchange Programme during Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal's visit to New Zealand.

The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program has been around since 1987. This program, the largest component of which places native English speakers in Japan’s junior and senior high schools for year-long tours of duty as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs), has thousands of alumni from around the world – more than 20,000 from the United States alone.

One of the more poorly understood aspects of public diplomacy is that it is not a tool for short-term policy goals. Public diplomacy is a tool with long-term benefits that are often difficult to measure. Public diplomacy is of limited value in short-term crisis situations. However, during a prolonged struggle, such as the Cold War, a sustained public diplomacy program can have profound effects. One public diplomacy program that is currently in play that bears watching is Poland's efforts with respects to its totalitarian neighbor of Belarus.

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