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May 26, 2014 14:01 KST

SEOUL--(Korea Newswire) May 26, 2014 -- The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) Association is delighted to announce that the Institute of International Education (IIE) has been recognised as the winner of the 2014 ISIC Award, for their dedication and efforts to advance access to higher education and boost student mobility worldwide.

For close to a century, IIE has been committed to improving access to international education and now operates some 200 education programmes across 185 countries, benefiting 20,000 individuals each year.

“IIE was a distinct winner for the ISIC Association, particularly for their ambitious Generation Study Abroad initiative which aims to see the annual number of students from the United States studying abroad doubled to 600,000 students in the next five years. Generation Study Abroad recognises that international experience, and understanding and appreciating cultural differences is one of the most important components of a 21st century education - a view wholly supported by the ISIC Association”, explained Sandra Hummell, Deputy Director of ISIC.

Ms Hummell added “IIE plays a key role in international education, student mobility and exchange at a global level. With programmes spanning fair and transparent scholarship and exchange opportunities, and research and policy development, to emergency funding enabling students facing crises to complete their studies, IIE is a leader in education and admirable winner of the 2014 ISIC Award.”

As part of the Award, IIE will receive a €10,000 (US$13,500) financial contribution, sponsored by MasterCard, to support the continuation of the organisation’s unique work to promote education access and foster an inter-connected world. This is the fourth consecutive year MasterCard has supported the monetary component to enhance the prestige and recognition of this award.

As a non-profit organisation working for students and youth internationally, Ms Hummell emphasised that “the ISIC Association recognises we have an inherent role to play in assisting both individuals who are currently studying, as well as those people who aspire to participate and excel in higher education but are restricted by social, economic, cultural and physical barriers. It is our strong belief that higher education is a fundamental right for all and has the ability to help facilitate intercultural diversity and understanding, and promote global stability and economic development.”

Dr Allan Goodman, President of IIE, said “Globalisation has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise. We view studying abroad as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders. IIE is honoured to be recognised by the ISIC Association for our efforts, and this award will advance our work to increase the number and diversity of students who are able to access international study opportunities.”

“Each of our ISIC Award finalists should be congratulated for their innovative and exceptional efforts to open up the doors to higher education”, stated Ms Hummell. IIE was voted as the 2014 ISIC Award winner from three highly commendable finalists including leaders in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), ALISON and edX. Nominations and votes for the ISIC Award are submitted annually by the ISIC Association’s global partners, ISIC card organisations, and students worldwide.

Endorsed by the European Students’ Union, the ISIC Award was established in 2011 to support existing international initiatives and organisations working to a ensure as many people as possible have the access, resources and support to enable them to participate in higher education and contribute to the sustainable development of their communities. Previous ISIC Award winners have included tuition-free, online education provider, the University of the People, and AIESEC, the world’s largest youth run organisation.

IIE was celebrated as the 2014 ISIC Award winner at a special award ceremony held on Friday 23 May, as part of the 2014 ISIC Event in Seoul, South Korea - a growing hub for tertiary education. The annual ISIC Event provides a platform for national ISIC organisations, decision makers, ISIC endorsement and strategic partners, and student organisations to discuss and showcase trends, innovations and opportunities in the student market globally.


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