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Washington University in St. Louis Forms Program With Asian Schools

This is Shep O'Neal with the VOA Special English Education Report.

Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri, has announced a new international education and research effort. It involves fifteen Asian universities along with international companies.

Officials made the announcement of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy last month. They said the academy will link professors, researchers and business and government leaders around the world. Support for the effort comes from international companies, foundations and individuals.

University officials say the McDonnell Academy is being created to improve progress toward solving world problems. Areas to be studied include the environment, energy, disease, international conflict and poverty.

Students at the McDonnell Academy will take part in a special program of meetings. Officials say famous researchers and political leaders will lead discussions about major issues. Examples might include the future of higher education, or American political issues.

Those who are accepted to the McDonnell Academy will receive money to pay for classes and living costs. They will also receive support for travel to Saint Louis and for a yearly one-week trip to their home university. Each student also will work with a Washington University professor throughout his or her studies.

The professor will serve as an "ambassador" to the student’s home university and will travel there with the student each year. The professor will find areas to expand cooperation in education and research.

Those taking part in the academy program must attend graduate school at Washington University. Interested students must also apply to the McDonnell Academy. The universities whose students are invited to apply are in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Officials say that they hope in the future to include universities in Europe, Australia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

The first of more than twenty academy scholars will begin their work at Washington University in the fall of two thousand six. For more information about the McDonnell Academy, go to the Web site at mcdonnell dot w-u-s-t-l dot e-d-u. McDonnell is spelled m-c-d-o-n-n-e-l-l.

This VOA Special English Education Report was written by Nancy Steinbach. Our reports can be found on the Web at I’m Shep O'Neal.