Converse Part of Collaborative Effort to Help International Students

The Ford Foundation of New York has awarded a grant of $92,125 to four women’s colleges to identify urgent problems faced by international students. Converse College (Spartanburg, S.C.), Salem Academy and College (Winston-Salem, N.C.), Agnes Scott College (Atlanta, Ga.), and Bennett College (Greensboro, N.C.) will take part in the collaborative project.

“International students continue to face barriers as they seek access to higher education here in America,” said Converse President Nancy Oliver Gray. “These barriers, which are even stronger with recent global events, sometimes actually prevent international students from enrolling at American colleges and universities.”

President Gray will join with the presidents of the three other colleges (Julianne Still Thrift of Salem; Mary Brown Bullock of Agnes Scott; Johnetta B. Cole of Bennett) to identify urgent issues and seek solutions to problems involving the matriculation of international students. They will share their findings with other colleges and universities, and will provide advocacy on behalf of international women students.

In emphasizing the importance of helping female students in particular, President Gray said, “Educated women have more earning potential, have better employment opportunities, have confidence to compete in the workplace, and make more informed health decisions.”

The one-year project is supported through the Ford Foundation’s Knowledge, Creativity and Freedom Program led by Alison R. Bernstein, Vice President. The Ford Foundation seeks to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation and advance human achievement.

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