Global education

Fletcher cited for 'exceptional work' in international affairs

Saying that "international education is part of the solution to world strife," an association of international educators has honored the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and nine other institutions for "exceptional work" in international affairs.

In a 118-page report released on April 16, "Internationalizing the Campus: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities," NAFSA: Association of International Educators said, "The Fletcher School excels in its highly developed, multidisciplinary program for training future leaders in international affairs." Other institutions cited for excellence in international education were Duke University, Middlebury College and the University of Pittsburgh.

steve bosworth

Fletcher Dean Stephen W. Bosworth

NAFSA represents more than 8,600 professionals in 50 states and 80 countries. The report was done in partnership with the Educational Testing Service of Princeton, N.J., and the Educational Resources Branch of the U.S. Department of State's Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau.

The criteria for selection were not only sound educational practice, but the value society derives from effective international education, according to the report's author, Christopher Connell, a former education writer for the Associated Press.

One very practical reason for the NAFSA report involves the aftershocks of 9/11, which have featured new visa restrictions by the U.S. government and reported instances of discrimination and harassment against university students from the Middle East. "It is unfortunate, we believe, that internationally mobile students who seek to study in the United States today face multiple impediments to getting here and being able to study here successfully…Under such circumstances, students and institutions worldwide suffer in the short-term," the report says.

Founded in 1933 during the Depression and amid a wave of rampant isolationism, the Fletcher School at Tufts is the nation's first graduate school devoted exclusively to international affairs. According to the report, the school today is educating more than 400 students, most pursuing master's degrees in international affairs. The average age of Fletcher students is 27, and more than two in five are from outside the United States. Ninety others are pursing Ph.D.s.

The report singled out Fletcher's innovative, one-year Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP), an Internet and residence-based program that has been written up in The Financial Times, and the school's Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, which provides training and conducts research on topics of pressing interest to human rights activists and peacemakers.

Some Fletcher graduates go into diplomatic careers or work for international organizations; others pursue careers in journalism, academia, the military and environmental affairs. Increasingly, more Fletcher graduates are entering the private sector in investment banking, trade and consulting.

Referring to the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, diplomat, U.S. senator and scholar, as Fletcher's "most illustrious graduate," the report notes that he received his undergraduate degree from Tufts before going on to earn his master's and Ph.D. degrees from Fletcher.

In terms of the school's larger mission, the report quotes Dean Stephen W. Bosworth, formerly U.S. ambassador to South Korea, the Philippines and Morocco: "The broader challenge for us as a country is to develop a public that is much more aware of what is going on in the world outside of our own borders. As September 11 has demonstrated, we are not invulnerable to what happens around us."