Europe & Eurasia

Linkage Institutes

Florida-Eastern Europe Linkage Institute
The Florida-Eastern Europe Linkage Institute (EELI) is one of 11 institutes initiated in 1987 by the Florida Legislature. The Linkage Institutes were initiated "to assist in the development of stronger economic, cultural, educational, and social ties between this state (Florida) 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".

Florida Statute 288.8175 enables the EELI to award out-of-state tuition to citizens of qualified Eastern European countries. The purpose of the tuition fee exemption program is to provide international students attending any institution of the State University System of Florida or community college the opportunity to pay in-state tuition rates. To qualify, the student must be a citizen of one of the countries recognized by the EELI.

Florida-France Linkage Institute
The Florida-France Linkage Institute was established in 1989 and is one of eleven Florida binational institutes created by the Florida Legislature to promote business, educational, cultural, and scientific exchange between Florida and other nations and regions of the world. France is a major trading partner with Florida and has growing business and investment interests in the state. Similarly, Florida seeks new opportunities for business in France.

The Florida-France Linkage Institute serves a multitude of interest groups in Florida and France. The Institute provides opportunities for education, training, trade and business promotion, cooperative research, mutual technical assistance, and both educational and cultural exchange.

What are Linkage Institutes?
Florida Statute 288.9175 establishes Linkage Institutes between postsecondary institutions in the state of Florida and foreign countries.

The 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 acceptance activities, increased bilateral commerce, student and faculty exchange, cultural exchange, and 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.

Each institute must be governed by an agreement, approved by the Department of State, 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.

Each institute must be co-administered in this state by a university or 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.

Each institute is allowed to exempt from s .240.1201 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.

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.