Kaufman, Henry, Former Chairman of the Board of Trustees

Name: Kaufman, Henry
Title: Former Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Company/Organization/University: Institute of International Education

Educational Exchange for a Safer and More Secure World

The aim of the terrorists who attacked this country on September 11 is not to change American foreign policy but to close our markets, minds, and doors. The Institute of International Education will do its part in the days ahead to make sure that they will not succeed.

This Institute brings an unusual perspective to the challenge. Born in the aftermath of the First World War, IIE is the nation's and the world's senior voice for international education. For over 80 years, we have championed the cause of keeping the world's educational doors open and offered programs that promote mutual understanding.

We have received messages of support from people all over the world who have studied in the United States. Students and alumni of every nationality and religious and political background have voiced their hope, as one student said, that programs of exchange may help us to "stand together in solidarity with the voice of reason and work together to spread peace."

Our mission is more important than ever before. When more international students are given the chance for meaningful study and opportunities to gain an appreciation of our society, there will be less hatred of America and misunderstanding of our values and way of life. The personal and professional relationships that international students make while they are studying in this country help forge strong bonds with the United States after their return, as they go on to conduct research or do business with their counterparts here, and particularly when they move on to leadership positions in their home countries.

When more Americans have the chance to study in other countries, they will have an opportunity to share American values and aspirations while gaining an appreciation of different cultures and learning about the many different ways people see us and the world. Understanding of and knowledge about the culture and society of others is critical to the success of American diplomacy and business, and the lasting ties that Americans make during their sojourns abroad are important to our country in times of conflict as well as in times of peace.

Academic freedoms are among the most basic of our liberties, and it is important that we remain able to share these freedoms with the rest of the world. Those who come from societies that are less open and democratic gain a tremendous appreciation for the freedom that they experience here, and help us to better appreciate values that are often taken for granted.

Our message is clear and unwavering. Educational exchange helps make the world safer and more secure.

Kaufman, Henry and Allan E. Goodman. "Educational Exchange for a Safer and More Secure World,"IIE.