NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma's International Programs Center will receive a $1.3 million federal grant to expand the Arabic language program on the Norman campus.
The National Security Education Program grant will be used to increase scholarships for Arabic majors, hire more faculty and staff, and to study the best Arabic language programs across the United States.
"The selection process for National Security Education Program grants is extremely competitive," said OU President David Boren. "This award recognizes the growing excellence of OU's International Programs Center."
The National Security Education Program is a federally funded program administered by the Department of Defense. It provides grants for institutions and students to study world regions and languages critical to U.S. interests.
Boren wrote the legislation that created the federal program when he was a U.S. senator.
The total award to the university is $1,327,489 along with $275,591 financed in matching funds by the university. Eighty-three percent of the project will be financed with funds from the federal program.
"This award will help make OU a national leader in the study of Arabic," said Zach Messitte, OU vice provost for international programs. "Gaining fluency in Arabic will help OU students unlock the history, culture and politics of a dynamic region of the world."