Bristol University to welcome Fulbright scholars
Press release issued: 23 September 2008
At a ceremony at the House of Commons on 22 September to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Fulbright Treaty, the Fulbright Commission announced the first wave of new awards that will increase by 30 per cent the number of scholarships it gives by 2010. The University of Bristol is among the institutions that are supporting the new awards and will be welcoming American postgraduates under the scheme.
The core funding for the US-UK Fulbright programme comes from the two governments, who wish to see equal numbers of postgraduates crossing the Atlantic. This first wave of additional partnership awards will allow more outstanding American postgraduates to study or research at centres of excellence in the UK.
American and British systems of higher education are generally recognised to be the two best in the world. As both countries internationalise their higher education institutes, the Fulbright programme is a key means of supporting them to increase the exchange of students, researchers and faculty. Both governments are committed to seeking excellent candidates and determined that they take advantage of the wide range of postgraduate opportunities available across both countries.
Over the six decades of the Fulbright Commission’s history, more than 27,000 Americans and Britons have crossed the Atlantic to participate in the US-UK Fulbright programme. Famous names such as Sylvia Plath and Milton Freidman, Shirley Williams and Ian Rankin are alumni of the programme. The ‘special relationship’ has been strengthened and redefined through this exchange in each decade.
The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, welcomed the new awards: ‘Fulbright scholarships have been bringing US and UK students into each other’s countries for decades. But I want many more British and American university students to have the chance to study across the Atlantic…I believe that the future of our relationship can, if we choose, deliver far more even than it has achieved in its past. Not just for both our nations, but for the world. So I warmly welcome the expansion of the programme.’
Fulbright Executive Director Penny Egan is delighted that the number of awards will increase from 39 in 2007/08 to over 60 by 2010. She said: ‘I am delighted that we have increased the number of awards that the US-UK Fulbright Commission will be making. This is not just a highly prestigious international scholarship programme but, in the words of our founder Senator J Walter Fulbright, it is a key means of fostering “leadership, learning and empathy between cultures”. Sixty years on, this is even more relevant than it was in 1948.’