The US Fulbright Program, which had been suspended following the Holey Artisan Bakery attack in 2016 – has resumed for Bangladeshi students after six years.
US Ambassador to Bangladesh, Peter Haas, announced the resumption of the programme in partnership with Brac University on its campus on Wednesday.
He also launched the "Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE)", a Department of State global initiative to promote gender equality and equity for the first time in Bangladesh.
The goal of AWE is to promote small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and foster local women entrepreneurs, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds.
The Fulbright program is one of the United States' flagship exchange programmes that strengthens and expands people-to-people ties and educational linkages between the United States and Bangladesh.
With more than 4,000 State Department Exchange programme alumni, including 650 Bangladeshis who travelled to the United States under the Fulbright exchange programmes and more than 250 Americans who have conducted research and/or taught in Bangladesh, the 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, the embassy said.
The Women Empowerment Center of Brac University's Business School (BBS) is hosting Dr Sharon Hart, the first Fulbright Specialist to help develop a curriculum for women entrepreneurship and leadership training, design research questions on gender and women economic empowerment issues, and to build capacity to conduct workshops for researchers and BBS faculty members.
The resumption of the US Fulbright program is yet another significant effort of the US Embassy in Dhaka as it continues to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the United States and Bangladesh, the embassy said.
Chairperson of Board of Trustees of Brac University, Tamara Hasan Abed, Vice-Chancellor of Brac University, Professor Vincent Chang, US Fulbright specialist Dr Sharon Hart, and Senior Technology Adviser of CED at Brac University, Professor Dr Matin Saad Abdullah, spoke at the function, among others.
Dean of Brac Business School at Brac University, Professor Dr Sang H Lee, gave the welcome speech while Associate Dean of Brac Business School at Brac University, Professor Dr Mohammad Mojibul Haque, gave the vote of thanks.
Officials from the Ministry of Education, University Grants Commission (UGC), established and budding entrepreneurs, and prominent public and private sector business professionals also joined the celebration, the US embassy said.