For years, Atlanta has enjoyed an embarrassment of riches when it comes to university research on international business education.
That trend is set to continue thanks to revelation that both Georgia State University and Georgia Institute of Technology have once again won prestigious federal CIBER grants.
The U.S. Department of Education grants establish and maintain Centers for International Business Education and Research around the country to spur innovation in educational programming and curriculum on the topic, improving the nation’s competitiveness by readying students to deal with the global economy.
This year’s cohort of institutions was trimmed to 16 but still includes both Atlanta schools, making the city the only one in the country that is home to two CIBERs, which sit just a couple of miles apart. Both schools saw their funding renewed for four years, ensuring a robust pipeline of programming for students and the community.
Georgia State’s CIBER, housed at the Robinson College of Business, was funded to the tune of $1.31 million between 2018-22. Since its inception eight years ago, the center has engaged deeply with the city, providing essential research to strategic efforts like the Atlanta Metro Export Plan and informing Atlanta’s broader participation in the Global Cities Initiative.
This year’s proposal includes 63 projects across eight areas of focus, including setting up a GSU internship program for metro-area companies that win the annual Atlanta Metro Export Challenge.
GSU CIBER has also taken a particular interest in helping minority-serving institutions beef up their international business offerings by running case competitions and leading a consortium of CIBERs dedicated to helping them improve pedagogy, or teaching methods. The center will also support GSU’s Center for Urban Language Teaching and Research in various ways, including by supporting a Spanish version of its introductory international business course.
Georgia Tech, meanwhile, aimed in its application to capitalize on its international presence — including campuses in France and China and research centers in places like Panama and Costa Rica. One goal is targeted incentives that will help students engage with these assets around the world — including more students from historically black colleges and universities.
Georgia Tech has pinpointed 54 faculty to join its efforts to improve sustainability in the way it teaches global business. Among other goals, Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business plans to use the funding to introduce new certificates for studies in regional specializations, enhance service learning and travel opportunities for students and faculty, blend sustainability and management education via social entrepreneurship competitions, promote global entrepreneurship training for veterans, work with HBCUs on a global trade pilot program and support Georgia’s competitiveness with export training and other resources for companies through its Enterprise Innovation Institute.
Jim Hoadley, associate director of the GT CIBER, couldn’t say the exact amount but noted that its funding approach that of the Georgia State CIBER, offering plenty of backing for its initiatives over the four-year period.
When it comes to hosting these rare institutions, Atlanta is unrivaled, he added.
“We’re the only city in the United States that has two,” he said.
The announcement of the CIBER grants for these two chools comes just after they jointly announced the impending creation of the Atlanta Global Studies Center with a $2.25 million education-department grant.
That center will promote advanced language study among students of “underrepresented backgrounds,” focusing on less-common but vital languages like Arabic, Korean, Portuguese, and Hindi. It will also manage foreign-language fellowships offered to undergraduate and graduate students.
Partnership with local institutions will be key, with outreach planned to consulates, refugee groups and non-governmental organizations, the schools said in announcing the center.
Editor’s Note: Georgia State University’s CIBER is an annual sponsor of Global Atlanta and cooperates with the publication on research including a survey of global exporters throughout the state.