Richard Nixon photo

Message to the Congress Transmitting Annual Report on the International Educational and Cultural Exchange Program.

October 16, 1973

To the Congress of the United States:

I transmit herewith the Annual Report on the International Educational and Cultural Exchange Program conducted during fiscal year 1972 by the Department of State under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-256).

During the past quarter century, the increase in economic and scientific interdependence among nations, the growth of new transnational communities based on common interests and concerns, the global reach of communications and the upsurge in travel have all radically altered the international environment. All these developments make it particularly important that the quality of the participants selected for exchange programs and the nature of their exchange experiences be truly outstanding. Added attention should also be given to relatively low-cost ways of enhancing the professional and cultural experiences of foreign students and others who come to live and to work in our country.

During this past year, a special effort has been made to foster group exchanges concerning problems we have in common with other countries. At the same time, we are striving to concentrate on the exceptional individual, on the promising young leader or the influential communicator, for example, as well as to develop exchanges that introduce our visitors to America's exceptionally rich ethnic and cultural diversity.

Our exchange programs have proved especially valuable in recent months in our developing relations with the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. The American and Soviet peoples are now working more closely in a wide range of areas--exchanging reactor scientists, sharing research findings in heart disease, cancer, and environmental health, cooperating in nearly 30 environmental projects, collaborating in the use of computers in management and planning joint probes into space. Cultural groups and performing artists are moving between the two countries in increasing numbers. Similar exchanges are occurring with the People's Republic of China. In the past year, Chinese table tennis players, physicians, scientists and acrobats have visited the United States, and businessmen, doctors, journalists, educators, scientists and scholars from this country have gone to China.

Scientific, educational and cultural exchanges between the United States and scores of other countries are also steadily increasing, under both official and unofficial auspices. These exchanges have helped to open new levels of dialogue with present and prospective leaders in much of the world.

A unique feature of the exchange program and a major source of its vitality through the years has been the enthusiastic involvement of thousands of private individuals, associations and businesses in its activities. They have voluntarily given a great deal of their own resources and time and effort to these programs and have thus made the exchange program truly representative of the people of the United States. I gratefully salute those who have taken part in this highly effective form of people-to-people diplomacy.

All of these elements are discussed in greater detail in this Annual Report and I am pleased to commend this document to the thoughtful attention of the Congress.


The White House,

October 16, 1973.

Note: The report, entitled "International Educational and Cultural Exchange, 1972: A Human Contribution to the Structure of Peace" (25 pp. plus addenda), was published by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State.

Richard Nixon, Message to the Congress Transmitting Annual Report on the International Educational and Cultural Exchange Program. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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