Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and Assistant Secretary of State Dina Habib Powell planned to lead a delegation of 12 U.S. college presidents to Japan, China, and Korea this week.
The group, which was scheduled to leave Nov. 10 and return Nov. 18, planned to meet with students, university officials, and government and business leaders to promote opportunities for international students who wish to study in the United States.
“In our ever-flattening world, international education and exchange is more important than ever,” Secretary Spellings said during a Nov. 8 conference call with reporters. She noted that the number of foreign students studying in the United States has continued to rebound since dropping after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in this country.
The delegation represents a wide variety of higher education institutions, Ms. Spellings said, including the leaders of private universities—such as William Brody, the president of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore—as well as public universities, such as Bernard Machen, the president of the University of Florida in Gainesville.
Two community college presidents also joined the delegation: Stephen M. Curtis, the president of the Community College of Philadelphia, and James Owens, the president of Piedmont Community College in Roxboro, N.C.
Ms. Spellings has taken at least seven trips out of the country since becoming secretary in January 2005. She has been to Afghanistan, Egypt, India, Italy, Japan, Jordan, and Russia, among other destinations.
A version of this article appeared in the November 15, 2006 edition of Education Week as Spellings Takes College Leaders to the Far East