Sub-Saharan Africa

Linkage Institutes

Florida/West Africa Linkage Institute
The Florida/West Africa Institute (FLAWI) was created by an act of the State Legislature in 1991 to promote academic, cultural, and economic exchanges between the state of Florida and the region of West Africa. It is one of eleven such institutes which are administered at affiliate universities and colleges throughout the state.

Institute tuition exemptions are available only to students from the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde Islands, Cote D'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. If you are not a citizen of one of these sixteen countries, FLAWI does not apply to you.

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.