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University of Warwick part of new wave of US-UK Fulbright awards

The University of Warwick is to be part of a new wave of Fulbright Scholarships.

Over six decades 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.

At a ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Fulbright Treaty at the House of Commons on 22 September, the Fulbright Commission will announce the first wave of new awards that will increase by 30% the number of scholarships it gives by 2010 to over 60.

The core funding for the US-UK Fulbright programme comes from the two governments to see equal numbers of post-graduates crossing the Atlantic. This first wave of additional partnership awards will allow more outstanding American post-graduates to study or research at centres of excellence in the UK. 

The new awards are supported by UK universities, institutes of higher education, and a research charity (see full list of new awards below).

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 post-graduate students, researchers and faculty. Both governments are committed to seeking excellent candidates but determined that they take advantage of the wide range of post-graduate opportunities available across both countries.

A new award of Fulbright Distinguished Chair, to bring senior US professors to the UK, will be introduced in 2010 for the first time.

Simon Lewis, Group Corporate Affairs Director at Vodafone, has been appointed the new Chair of the Commission and Baroness Amos becomes a UK Commissioner. (See full list of Board members below).

The Commission will announce that US Ambassador Robert Tuttle; Deborah Owen; Sir Robert Worcester; Charles McVeigh, Chuck Lubar and Harry Fitzgibbons have all agreed to become Patrons of the US-UK Fulbright Programme.

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 AtlanticI 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.”

The White House has issued a Presidential Proclamation in which the President, George Bush writes:

“The United States-United Kingdom Fulbright Commission was created to promote peace and build bridges of understanding through educational exchange. For six decades, this program has worked to nurture more effective cooperation between our two countries and cultivate leaders who can work together to address common concerns. This anniversary is an opportunity to recognise the achievement of this historic program.”

Fulbright Executive Director Penny Egan said:

“I am delighted that we will have increased the number of awards from 39 in 2007/8 to over 60 in 2010 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’.   60 years on this is even more relevant than it was in 1948”.

Notes for Editors

For further information please contact:

Richard Fern, University of Warwick, 07876 217740

Penny Egan on 020 7539 4411 during office hours or on her mobile 07885 398 050.