Arguing that excluded and marginalized social groups should benefit from the growth of international higher education, Origins, Journeys and Returns reports on the development and impact of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program (IFP) which is designed to further social justice in some of the world's poorest, most populous, and most unequal countries. Extending opportunities for advanced education to individuals from marginalized communities has a significant impact that transcends individual beneficiaries. In 2001, the Ford Foundation began to dedicate substantial resources toward providing disadvantaged groups with postgraduate education, a process that gave hope to many. Fellows' academic success challenged presumptions about the disadvantaged and their ability to benefit from educational opportunities in prestigious international universities. Alumni have also exhibited a deep dedication to their communities, proving there is a collective return on investing in individuals. In some regions, IFP practices have modified institutional practices in universities and other fellowship programs.
Through case studies of seven countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, Origins, Journeys and Returns shows how nuanced approaches to defining the disadvantaged, along with flexible, local implementation of global program goals can actually counter "brain drain" and empower individuals to effect social change at home.
Toby Alice Volkman, director of policy initiatives at the Henry Luce Foundation, formerly served as director of special projects at the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program. She is the author and editor of several books, including Cultures of Transnational Adoption and Feasts of Honor: Ritual and Change in the Toraja Highlands. Joan Dassin is executive director of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program. Her published works include articles on international education and co-edited volumes Training a New Generation of Leaders and Press Control Around the World. She is the editor of Torture in Brazil, based on the book Brasil: Nunca Mais. Mary Zurbuchen is director for Asia and Russia of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program. She works in Southeast Asian studies and is the author of Language of Balinese Shadow Theater and editor of Beginning to Remember: The Past in the Indonesian Present.
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