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Six International Institute Centers Awarded $4.3 Million in Department of Education Language and Area Studies Fellowships

Six International Institute Centers Awarded $4.3 Million in Department of Education Language and Area Studies Fellowships

UCLA International Institute applicants for Africa, Latin America, Europe, Near East, East Asia and Southeast Asia have been awarded a total of $1.4 million per year for three years to support graduate students in foreign language training and area studies.

In a sweeping endorsement of the quality of UCLA's foreign language training and area studies programs, all six of the UCLA International Institute centers that entered the hard fought triennial Department of Education Title VI Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship competition were victorious this year. The six centers received funding of $1.4 million for the 2003-04 academic year, and commitments for approximately the same amount for the two succeeding years, subject to congressional approval of the Department of Education Title VI budget. The awards went to the UCLA centers in African, Near Eastern, Latin American, European, and Southeast Asian studies, and to the East Asian program of the Asia Institute.

The Department of Education Title VI program grew out of the 1960s National Defense Education Act and continues to be influenced by U.S. security concerns. This is reflected in this cycle's increased awards in Middle East and Southeast Asian studies. The Title VI funds are earmarked for non-native-speaking graduate students currently enrolled in foreign language training at their recipient institution of higher learning as part of their degree program. The funds are nominally distributed in packets of $25,000 per student for academic year support, divided between $14,000 as a living stipend and up to $11,000 for tuition. This is an increase from the $21,000 total up to the 2001-02 academic year. In practice, some teaching departments agree to pay the tuition and fees for their students, allowing the Department of Education funding to support a larger number of students. The awards to the centers also include a number of summer support packages, which total $6,000 each, divided between $2,400 for living expenses and up to $3,600 for tuition and fees.

According to the Department of Education website, "The goals of the fellowship program include: (1) to assist in the development of knowledge, resources, and trained personnel for modern foreign language and area/international studies; (2) to stimulate the attainment of foreign language acquisition and fluency; and (3) to develop a pool of international experts to meet national needs."

Following are summaries of the awards to the specific UCLA centers.

James S. Coleman African Studies Center

The African Studies Center has been funded by Title VI in each competition since the first competition, which was the seed money for establishing the center in 1959. In this cycle the ASC got the maximum number of awards available for the African region. The award consists of 8 academic year fellowships at $25,000 each, or $200,000, as well as 3 summer awards at $6,000 for an additional $18,000. The center's award is to be renewed in the two successive academic years, for a total FLAS allocation of approximately $654,000.

Center for European and Eurasian Studies

The Center for European and Eurasian Studies has been awarded $305,000 per annum for the next three years in Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships. Up to 14 graduate students each year, in the humanities, social sciences, and professional schools developing European and Eurasian languages and area expertise will receive full fees and a stipend of $14,000. In addition, at least 5 graduate students each summer, will receive funds for program fees and a stipend of $2,400 to attend intensive language programs either in the United States or abroad. These grants are extremely competitive and are distributed across the disciplines and languages of Europe and Eurasia.

In the most recent competition, 83 applications were considered for the Summer 2003 and academic year 2003-04, and awards were given to students in Comparative Literature, English, Ethnomusicology, Film & TV, History, Italian, Political Science, Slavic, and Sociology. The languages being studied by these students include: Czech, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, and Uzbek.

Latin American Center

The Latin American Center has been awarded $225,000 per year for academic year FLAS fellowships for the 2003-05 cycle, about nine fellowships. There is also an allocation for five summer awards for a further $30,000 per year. The entire allocation over the three years should total $765,000. The fellowships are open to both continuing and entering graduate students. Eligible languages are Portuguese, Quechua, and advanced Spanish.

Coleen Trujillo writes from the Latin American Center: "News travels fast. The Center has already received several inquiries from current UCLA graduate students who have heard the good news. The FLAS fellowship is a highly coveted award. The availability of this support enhances UCLA's ability to attract graduate students of the highest caliber. Traditionally, award recipients in the Latin American area have come from departments and professional schools throughout the campus."

Asia Institute

The Asia Institute and its affiliated centers received two FLAS allocations, one to its East Asian studies program and one to its affiliated Southeast Asian Studies Center. The Asia Institute has six affiliated centers, for Buddhism, China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and Comparative and Interdisciplinary Research on Asia. The Asia Institute itself also acts as a national resource center for Title VI and FLAS fellowships in East Asian Studies in a joint consortium with USC. The consortium was established in 1975.

The USC-UCLA East Asian Studies consortium will receive $274,000 annually for the next three years to support graduate students working to master Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages. UCLA's share of this is $137,000 per year, or $411,000 for this three-year funding cycle. $125,000 per year is allocated to support academic year study and $12,000 to support work in intensive summer language programs.

Clayton Dube, Assistant Director of the Asia Institute, writes: "The Asia Institute requires nominating departments, schools, and programs to provide nonresident tuition or fees, and is sometimes able to secure supplemental funding from its member centers or other campus units. Because of this our East Asian allocation, which is nominally enough to support 5 academic year and 2 summer fellowships, may be able to offer 9 academic-year fellowships for each of the next three years. We expect to offer 2 or 3 summer study fellowships beginning in the summer of 2004.

"Former recipients of the UCLA East Asian FLAS fellowships are now teaching at a wide range of colleges and universities including Columbia, Stanford, Pomona, Oklahoma, Florida, and California State University Fullerton."

Center for Southeast Asian Studies

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies also participates in the Department of Education Title VI program as a consortium, in this case with UC Berkeley. In 2000-03, the UCB-UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies received five academic year awards. For 2003-05, this has increased to 12. UCLA's share of this is 5, for an annual allocation of $125,000 in academic-year funding, plus another $18,000 in summer money, for a three-year UCLA total in Southeast Asian Studies of $429,000.

Barbara Gaerlan, Assistant Director of the Southeast Asian Studies Center, writes, "This is a big increase from last cycle. We also received a total of 3 summer awards. Usually we send all of our summer FLAS funds to the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute at the University of Wisconsin. Since many departments are able to pay the fees for their students, we hope to be able to stretch the $125,000 UCLA received in fellowship funds so that more than five students will be funded. With maximal conditions we could fund as many as 9, but I expect that we will fund 8. This is an expansion for Southeast Asian Studies fellowships, and we are very happy about it."

The Southeast Asian languages taught at UCLA that are eligible for FLAS support are: Indonesian, Tagalog (Filipino), Thai, and Vietnamese.

Gustav E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies

Diane James of the Near Eastern Center reports, "We received a total grant of $386,000 for FY 2003, and an estimated similar amount for FY 2004 and 2005, so you can say more than a million dollars over the next three years in FLAS grants for our students." The actual amount if the future budgets are approved in Washington is $1,158,000.

"$350,000 per year is allocated to Academic Year awards," James says, "and with this we can fund a minimum of 14 students, covering fees (and tuition if necessary) and a stipend of $14,000. However, with economies from cost-sharing, we expect to fund as many as 20 students next year. $36,000 per year is allocated to summer awards, for a minimum of 6 students each summer. We can probably fund 8 students with this summer grant. This summer, with the addition of some AY FLAS funds remaining from last year, we expect to fund 10 students."

FLAS Eligible languages in Near Eastern Studies at UCLA are Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, and Uzbek.

National Resource Center Awards Still Pending

A second stage of the three-year Title VI awards is still ahead. In addition to the language and area studies fellowships Title VI also funds centers as National Resource Centers. The six UCLA International Institute centers that have received the FLAS awards reported above are also participants in this competition. The NRC awards are scheduled to be announced at the end of May.

The US DOE program page: <http://www.ed.gov/offices/OPE/HEP/iegps/flasf.html>