The Universities Minister has hailed the UK and US as the ‘heavyweights of higher education’ and reinforced the special relationship between the two countries by pledging to forge transnational education partnerships.
Sam Gyimah spoke at the US-UK Fulbright Commission’s reception in the House of Commons (12 September) to celebrate their 70th anniversary, and committed £1million for UK-US international exchanges. The funding will help more young people and academics, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, experience the world-class education that each country has to offer, building on the over 23,000 educational exchanges Fulbright have facilitated.
The Universities Minister praised the work undertaken by the Fulbright Commission and reaffirmed the UK Government’s commitment to a global outlook beyond Brexit.
The Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said:
At the heart of our great nations’ success is great education. The UK and the US are both powerhouses on the international stage, attracting talented students and teachers from across the globe to broaden both of our horizons.
I recognise that, with the prospect of Brexit here in the UK, there is much concern as to what the future holds for our relationship with the outside world. Let me reassure you with this gesture that we are committed to the UK remaining open to the world and becoming even more global and internationalist in outlook.
As the only scholarship programme supporting students and scholars on both sides of the Atlantic, across all disciplines, the US-UK Fulbright Programme is a prime example of the special relationship that has blossomed between our two countries. And it is a partnership of which we are extremely proud.
Penny Egan, Executive Director of the US-UK Fulbright Commission:
As we approach the 70th anniversary of the signing of the treaty that created the US-UK Fulbright Commission, we warmly welcome the UK Government’s endorsement of our work and its recommitment to our future. This significant extra funding will allow us to create more opportunities for British students, academics and teachers and even up the awards available on both sides of the Atlantic.
This is a bilateral partnership that celebrates the exchange of innovative ideas and best practice, cementing lasting collaborations and a deeper understanding of each other’s country. We are enormously grateful for the continuing support of both governments, that will enable us to invest in future generations of Fulbright scholars.
The UK and US have long been seen as the powerhouses for higher education, with the two countries making up 9 out of ten of the world’s best universities.
The funding builds on a strong history of the UK-US bilateral education relationship, and will introduce a programme enabling teachers from the UK to develop and share their professional skills and academic knowledge in the US.