British Ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott commemorated the 65th anniversary of the US-UK Fulbright Commission with a reception for current and former Fulbright Scholars as well as officials from the US Department of State.
“Educational exchanges are one of the cornerstones of the US-UK relationship,” said Ambassador Westmacott in remarks he delivered at the reception. “The number and closeness of those relationships is part of the fabric of one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world.”
The US-UK Fulbright Commission was created in 1948 to foster cultural understanding between the two countries through educational exchanges with postgraduate and postdoctoral scholarships.
The United Kingdom is the top overseas destination for American students. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and Institute of International Education (IIE), almost 50,000 American students studied at British universities in 2010-2011.
“The Fulbright program is needed today as much as ever,” said Tara Sonenshine, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the US Department of State, in remarks she delivered at the event. “It is crucial that future generations of our citizens learn about each other’s cultures and societies, and reflect on their own.”
Established in 1946, the Fulbright Scholarship programme operates globally in over 150 countries. It provides 8,000 grants annually for graduate studies, research and teaching. The scholarship programme is an important part of the legacy of the late US Senator J. William Fulbright.
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