Section 288.8175, Florida Statutes 2004
288.8175 Linkage institutes between postsecondary institutions in this state and foreign countries.--
(1) As used in this section, the term "department" means the Department of Education.
(2) There are created Florida linkage institutes. A primary purpose of these institutes is to assist in the development of stronger economic, cultural, educational, and social ties between this state and strategic foreign countries through the promotion of expanded public and private dialogue on cooperative research and technical assistance activities, increased bilateral commerce, student and faculty exchange, cultural exchange, and the enhancement of language training skills between the postsecondary institutions in this state and those of selected foreign countries. Each institute must ensure that minority students are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in the exchange programs.
(3) Each institute must be governed by an agreement, approved by the department, between the State University System and the Florida Community College System with the counterpart organization in a foreign country. Each institute must report to the department regarding its program activities, expenditures, and policies.
(4) Each institute must be co-administered in this state by a university-community college partnership, as designated in subsection (5), and must have a private sector and public sector advisory committee. The advisory committee must be representative of the international education and commercial interests of the state and may have members who are native to the foreign country partner. Six members must be appointed by the department. The department must appoint at least one member who is an international educator. The presidents, or their designees, of the participating university and community college must also serve on the advisory committee.
(5) The institutes are:
(a) Florida-Brazil Institute (University of Florida and Miami-Dade Community College).
(b) Florida-Costa Rica Institute (Florida State University and Valencia Community College).
(c) Florida Caribbean Institute (Florida International University and Daytona Beach Community College).
(d) Florida-Canada Institute (University of Central Florida and Palm Beach Junior College).
(e) Florida-China Institute (University of West Florida, University of South Florida, and Brevard Community College).
(f) Florida-Japan Institute (University of South Florida, University of West Florida, and St. Petersburg Community College).
(g) Florida-France Institute (New College of the University of South Florida, Miami-Dade Community College, and Florida State University).
(h) Florida-Israel Institute (Florida Atlantic University and Broward Community College).
(i) Florida-West Africa Institute (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, University of North Florida, and Florida Community College at Jacksonville).
(j) Florida-Eastern Europe Institute (University of Central Florida and Lake Sumter Community College).
(k) Florida-Mexico Institute (Florida International University and Polk Community College).
(6) Each institute is allowed to exempt from s. 1009.21 up to 25 full-time equivalent students per year from the respective host countries to study in any of the state universities or community colleges in this state as resident students for tuition purposes. The institute directors shall develop criteria, to be approved by the Department of Education, for the selection of these students. Students must return home within 3 years after their tenure of graduate or undergraduate study for a length of time equal to their exemption period.
(7) Each state university and community college linkage institute partner may enter into an agreement for a student exchange program, that requires that the tuition and fees of a student who is enrolled in a state university or community college and who is participating in an exchange program be paid to the university or community college while the student is participating in the exchange program. The agreement may also require that the tuition and fees of a student who is enrolled in a postsecondary institution in a foreign country and who is participating in an exchange program be paid to the foreign institution of enrollment.
(8) No later than 60 days before every regular session of the Legislature, the department shall present to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, and the minority leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate a review of linkage institute program activity, criteria for their operation, accountability standards, recommended funding levels, and recommendations for establishing, maintaining, or abolishing linkage institutes. The criteria shall be developed in consultation with Enterprise Florida, Inc. The criteria must include, but need not be limited to, the purpose stated in subsection (2) and:
(a) The importance of economic, political, and social ties between this state and the country or region.
(b) The potential for growth and expansion of commercial, educational, and cultural links.
(c) The viability of regionally oriented, rather than country-specific, linkages, based on historical or emerging regional economic or political trading blocs.
(9) A linkage institute may not be created or funded except upon the recommendation of the department and except by amendment to this section.
(10) The department shall review and make linkage-institute budget requests to the Governor and the Legislature. State appropriations for institutes created under this section must be made by a single lump-sum line item to the department, which must apportion the funds among the various institutes in accordance with criteria established by the department.
(11) Linkage institutes may also accept and administer moneys provided by the department for research and development of international trade. The department shall, by March 1, report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives in each year in which the department has provided moneys for a linkage institute. The report must detail the purpose of the expenditure by the department and the use of the moneys by the linkage institutes and must include a copy of the research documents or related materials produced, if any.
History.--s. 23, ch. 87-329; s. 1, ch. 88-162; s. 78, ch. 90-201; s. 34, ch. 90-302; s. 21, ch. 91-5; s. 26, ch. 91-201; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 66, ch. 93-187; s. 78, ch. 96-320; s. 27, ch. 97-278; s. 36, ch. 2000-258; s. 947, ch. 2002-387; s. 10, ch. 2004-242.
Note.--Former s. 240.137.