Bipartisan Young bill provides American students with high-demand international skills

A bipartisan bill introduced on April 29 by U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) would improve and encourage innovation in international education, ensuring America’s students receive high-demand international skills that, in turn, help the United States remain globally competitive.

“We must ensure that our higher education institutions can successfully prepare students to contribute to our economic competitiveness,” Sen. Young said. “This bill will equip universities across the country with resources to help develop innovative international programs and ensure our students are prepared to excel on the national stage.” 

The Advancing International and Foreign Language Education Act, S. 1453, which Sen. Young sponsored with original cosponsor U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), would reauthorize Title VI of the Higher Education Act, which provides resources for universities across the country to develop international programs of strategic interest related to the Middle East, East and Central Asia, Russia, Eastern Europe, Africa, and other world areas, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Young’s staff. 

If enacted, S. 1453 also would advance national security, spur global competition and expand access to underserved students via partnerships between universities and the United States government that seek to bolster both national and international foreign language education infrastructure, the summary says.

“In order to remain globally competitive in the 21st-century economy,” Sen. Young said, “it’s important that students in Indiana and across America are equipped with the international skills that are in demand.”

Indiana University President Michael McRobbie endorsed S. 1453, which has been referred for consideration to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.