par Bertrams, Kenneth
Référence Academic Culture and International Relations. A Transatlantic Perspective (11-12 Mai 2012: Munich)
Publication Non publié, 2012-05-11
Communication à un colloque
Résumé : The Belgian American Educational Foundation (BAEF) was created in 1919 as an offspring of two humanitarian agencies set up during World War One in Belgium. One was the Committee for Relief in Belgium (CRB), launched and directed by future US President Herbert Hoover; the other was its local counterpart, the National Committee for Relief and Alimentation, headed by Belgian financier Emile Francqui and inspired by the prominent chemical tycoon Ernest Solvay. Relying in a dubious manner on the foundations’ financial remainders (Francqui had secured the money from the government), they envisaged the creation of a series of academic institutions, which would cope with Belgium’s scientific backwardness. Among the projects, Hoover came up with the idea of an exchange program between American and Belgian scholars, which was first mentioned in a conversation held with Francqui in July 1916. By 1920 the CRB Educational Foundation (renamed as BAEF in 1938) drew 24 Belgian fellows (including future Prime Minister Paul Van Zeeland) travelling to the US and 22 Americans to Belgium – all receiving full coverage of enrolment and of travel expenses, as well as a stipend.