Global Education in Our
Recently, Dr. John Brademas, former
Congressman and President Emeritus of NYU, addressed The
Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at the CUNY
Graduate Center. His lecture marked the centennial of the
birth of Ralph Bunche whom he called, "...a
brilliant international statesman and a significant figure
in the history of the United States."
While his remarks about the role of Ralph Bunche in the early
days of the UN were significant, as was his review of his own
role in the US Congress for 22 years, of particular interest
here are his more recent activities in extending the global
reach of NYU and the role of educators in world affairs. Following
his career in Congress, he served as President of NYU. During
his Presidency he established numerous centers for international
study, brought thousands of foreign students to study at NYU,
and fostered centers of study in Florence, Madrid, Prague,
London and Paris. More NYU students studied abroad last year,
nearly 2000, than from any other institution in the country.
After a long and successful career
he continues to travel, meet with world leaders and to speak
in the causes of democracy, peace and international cooperation.
He is currently, "proposing
to establish, in consultation with our Department of State,
a Center for Public Diplomacy and Dialogue, for the purpose
of building bridges to the Arab and Muslim World. "Our
plan," he said, "is to forge a university-based center
that will serve both as a public policy think tank and sponsor
of a program of international fellowships and exchanges to
encourage dialogue and engagement between individuals rather
He is simultaneously working to
establish a center for discussing the decision making for
the security of the United States. "Universities," he
asserted, "because of their wealth of knowledge across
academic disciplines, are...uniquely equipped to contribute
to the debate on these great issues."
[This issue of Education
Update illustrates the importance of global studies and the cultural
interchange of ideas. At PS 77 in Brooklyn, students celebrated
the International Year of Freshwater, showing efforts from Zimbabwe to Holland.
A 26-year-old student exchange program between Israel and the
US is quoted by participants as being "great!" And
at UN-USA, global studies curricula have been initiated in
public schools across the land. The movement to encourage international
understanding and peace has begun in our elementary schools.