one’s place in the world becomes increasingly difficult
as society becomes more global and the boundaries between cultures
blur. Diversity of peoples, languages and cultures enriches
our lives and opens unprecedented possibilities to us. But these
advances also require us to gain a broader knowledge and a greater
grasp of the world than at any time in the past.
The role of higher education in helping us to understand
the world was described recently in a statement by the Association
of American Universities: “International education is the
key to U.S. effectiveness in the world economy and national security.
The responsibilities of world leadership, promoting democracy
and providing humanitarian assistance draw increasingly on international
At UCLA, scholars from a wide range of disciplines
prepare the next generation of leaders who will not only be outstanding
scientists, teachers, artists and citizens, but who also will
function effectively in an interconnected global world. The UCLA
International Institute, for example, educates global citizens
through a variety of degree programs, multidisciplinary centers,
research endeavors and public lectures. Its Global Impact Research
Grant Program supports cutting-edge faculty research that engages
and influences national and international policy debates and,
at the same time, stimulates new teaching in the classroom. The
institute’s new Global Scholars Program recruits world-class
graduate students who study issues pertaining to culture, society,
markets andgovernance around the world. Participants in the Global
Fellows Program pursue innovative, and often multidisciplinary,
work relevant to the multidimensional dynamics of the contemporary
Elsewhere on campus, the UCLA Anderson School of
Management, through its Global Access Program, engages faculty
and students with entrepreneurs around the world. Students gain
international field-study experience by helping start-up companies
in other countries to develop investment-grade business plans.
UCLA is a leader in addressing world-health issues.
This is true beyond the work of the university’s exceptional
doctors and researchers. In the Department of World Arts and Cultures,
for example, Associate Professor of Dance David Gere is applying
theater arts to further AIDS education and prevention in India
(see “Art in the Time of AIDS” on page 20). Within
UCLA’s School of Public Health, epidemiologist Roger Detels
works with public-health professionals from around the world to
confront the crisis of AIDS in their homelands (see “East
Meets Westwood” on page 32). Researchers in the Neuropsychiatric
Institute’s Integrated Substance Abuse Programs are working
with colleagues in Egypt and Israel to combat illicit drug use
in those countries. And last year, students in the Henry Samueli
School of Engineering and Applied Science helped to build a 10-room
health clinic in a Thai village that previously had no such medical
In fact, our students are traveling the world in
record numbers. Last year, UCLA sent 1,917 students to other parts
of the world, primarily through the Education Abroad Program.
That number, the second-highest sent by any U.S. college or university,
speaks to our students’ eagerness to explore and experience
other cultures firsthand.
By addressing critical issues around the world,
UCLA influences the course of life in the 21st century. We alone
cannot change the world, but we can and do educate global citizens
on whose values and actions the future of the planet depends.