US resumes Fulbright programme after six years

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

The US embassy in Dhaka on Wednesday resumed the United States Fulbright programme after six years and launched Women Entrepreneurs with BRAC University (BRACU) to help Bangladeshi youth become skilled human resources.

US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas formally resumed the Fulbright programs and jointly launched the "Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE)" at a ceremony at BRAC university campus in the capital, reports BSS.

The AWE is a US Department of State global initiative to promote small and medium enterprises (SME) and foster local women entrepreneurs, especially from underprivileged backgrounds.

Besides, the Fulbright program is one of the United States' flagship exchange programs that strengthens and expands people-to-people ties and educational linkages between the United States and Bangladesh.

"We hope that the minds and hearts of the Bangladeshi who are participated in this (Fulbright) program and then positively contributed to Bangladesh," the US ambassador said at the launching ceremony.

Haas said these programmes are hugely important as Bangladesh is uniquely positioned in Asia to transition both a middle-income country and from an agrarian to an urban-industrial economy.

"This is more critical than ever for the young people of the country especially the women who have the skill to compete in the 21st-century workforce," Hass said.

The envoy said the US embassy here would be working with inspiring women entrepreneurs who have disadvantaged backgrounds in promoting their small and medium enterprises.

In reality, Hass said, different organizations, universities, students, academicians, businessmen and individuals here have been building depth of the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and the US.

He hoped that these programmes would further increase people to people ties between the two nations.

BRACU vice-chancellor Professor Vincent Chang, board of trustees chairperson Tamara Hasan Abed, business school dean professor Sang H. Lee and US Fulbright specialist Dr Sharon Hart also spoke on the occasion, among others.

With more than 4000 State Department Exchange program alumni, including 650 Bangladeshis who travelled to the United States under the Fulbright exchange programs and more than 250 Americans who have conducted research or taught in Bangladesh, US Embassy in Dhaka continues to fulfil its commitments toward ensuring quality education in Bangladesh by offering academic and professional development opportunities for students, teachers, and scholars, said the US embassy here.

The Women Empowerment Center of BRAC University's Business School (BBS) is hosting Dr Hart, the first Fulbright Specialist to help develop a curriculum for women entrepreneurship and leadership training on women's economic empowerment issues.

This is the first time a Bangladeshi university will be conducting such a programme through which 50 women entrepreneurs will have access to mentorship opportunity with successful business owners as trainees to understand the practical challenges on the ground, BRAC university officials said.

This AWE project directly supports the US National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality.