Business and International Education Program

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Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. What is the purpose of the Business and International Education (BIE) program?
  2. What kinds of activities can be supported with grant funds?
  3. How often are competitions generally held?
  4. What is the duration of the average grant and what is the average annual grant amount?
  5. Is there a cost matching requirement? If so, are in-kind contributions acceptable as part of the grantee’s match?
  6. What are the reporting requirements for grantees? What kind of records and data should be maintained or collected in order to complete required reports?
  7. What are the requirements for the evaluation of funded projects?
  8. Are there program-wide performance measures?
  9. What are a few concrete examples of allowable activities?

1. What is the purpose of the Business and International Education (BIE) program?

The purpose of the program is to promote education and training that will contribute to the ability of United States business to prosper in an international economy. The program provides funds to institutions of higher education that enter into agreements with trade associations and businesses to improve the academic teaching of the business curriculum and to conduct outreach activities that expand the capacity of the business community to engage in international economic activities. It authorizes the Secretary of Education to award grants to provide suitable international training to business personnel in various stages of professional development.

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2. What kinds of activities can be supported with grant funds?

The activities that the BIE grantees may conduct include, but are not limited to—

  1. Innovation and improvement of international education curricula to serve the needs of the business community, including the development of new programs for nontraditional, mid-career, or part-time students;
  2. Development of programs to inform the public of increasing international economic interdependence and the role of American business within the international economic system;
  3. Internationalization of curricula at junior and community colleges, and at undergraduate and graduate schools of business;
  4. Development of area studies programs and interdisciplinary international programs;
  5. Establishment of export education programs through cooperative arrangements with regional and world trade centers and councils, and with bilateral and multilateral trade associations;
  6. Research for and development of teaching materials relating to international education, including language materials, and facilities appropriate to business-oriented students;
  7. Establishment of student and faculty fellowships and internships for training and education in international business activities;
  8. Development of opportunities for business and other professional school junior faculty to acquire or strengthen international skills and perspectives;
  9. Development of research programs on issues of common interest to institutions of higher education and private sector organizations and associations engaged in or promoting international economic activity;
  10. The establishment of internships overseas to enable foreign language students to develop their foreign language skills and their knowledge of foreign cultures and societies;
  11. Establishing linkages overseas with institutions of higher education and organizations that contribute to the educational objectives of this program; and
  12. Summer institutes in international business, foreign area, and other international studies designed to carry out the purposes of this program.
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3. How often are competitions generally held?

Competitions are held every year, subject to the availability of funds.

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4. What is the duration of the average grant and what is the average annual grant amount?

Each grant is awarded for two years. The average annual award was $85,000 in FY 2010.

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5. Is there a cost matching requirement? If so, are in-kind contributions acceptable as part of the grantee’s match?

The BIE program has a cost-sharing requirement which requires institutions to match 50 percent of the total cost of each project; in-kind contributions are an acceptable match.

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6. What are the reporting requirements for grantees? What kind of records and data should be maintained or collected in order to complete required reports?

Grant recipients are required to submit three performance reports through the International Resource Information System (IRIS). These reports are due in the spring and fall of the first year and a final report in the second year. Grantees are expected to report on the following categories:

  • Objectives and Accomplishments
  • Adjustments to Project
  • Exemplary Activities
  • Priorities
  • International Travel
  • Budget – Use of Funds and Expected Use
  • International Business Courses and Programs
  • International Business Positions
  • Faculty Enhancement
  • Outreach Activities
  • Study Abroad/Internships
  • Grant Results
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7. What are the requirements for the evaluation of funded projects?

All funded projects must have an evaluation plan for their grant and report on evaluation activities in accordance with that plan through the International Resource Information System (IRIS).

The evaluation plan should discuss goals, objectives, performance measures to monitor progress, data gathering techniques, funding, and personnel. Activities should focus on both formative and summative evaluation. The formative evaluation will provide feedback to you on your progress in meeting goals and objectives and reveal areas for improvement. The summative evaluation should focus on outcomes and should be completed by an independent evaluator that does not have a relationship with your project.

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8. Are there program-wide performance measures?

Yes. The Department will use the following measures to evaluate the success of the BIE program:

Performance Measure 1: Percentage of Business and International Education Program projects judged to be successful by the program officer, based on a review of information provided in annual performance reports.

Performance Measure 2: Number of outreach activities that are adopted or disseminated within a year, divided by the total number of BIE outreach activities conducted in the current reporting period.

Efficiency Measure: Cost per high-quality, successfully-completed Business and International Education projects.

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9. What are a few concrete examples of allowable activities?
  • Expand the existing international education curriculum by including Chinese business practices and culture and enhancing Chinese language skills of students in a real business environment.
  • Provide international learning experiences to STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and business faculty and students, with a special emphasis on part-time adult, nontraditional students.
  • Promote new international business commerce in the clean energy and knowledge economy sectors via business outreach programs.
  • Create and develop a new concentration in the MBA program on sustainable development.

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Last Modified: 09/29/2011