US announces Fulbright scholarships for Afghans
KABUL (Pajhwok): US Ambassador Michael McKinleyon Thursday announced the launch of selection for the flagship Fulbright exchange programme.
It is one of the most prestigious US government academic exchange programmes, awarding highly competitive scholarships to participants from more than 165 countries.
The scholarships afford selected students the opportunity to pursue graduate studies and research at US universities.
Since 2003, 450 Afghans have participated in the programme. Fulbright alumni worldwide include 53 Nobel Laureates and 31 heads of state, among them Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
A statement from the US embassy said President Ghani, duringhis visit to Washington, had advocated for an increase in the number of scholarships for Afghans.
McKinley recognised prominent Fulbright alumni, including Minister of Agriculture Asadullah Zamir and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasir Andeshaas examples of the success Fulbright alumni may achieve upon returning to Afghanistan.
The ambassador called on academic institutions to encourage more Afghans to participate in the programme and become future leaders of their country.
Regarding the transparency of the process, the statement said the selection process having seven stages-- starting from technical review for eligibility and ending with approval of the 12-mmbers scholarship board in Washington DC-- is highly competitive and merit-based.
The criteria for the eligibility is holding bachelor degree and at least 75 marks in the TOEFL test and commandment to return to Afghanistan for service, the statement said adding the registration process started for Afghan students from December 10, 2015 and would end on March 20, 2016.
According to Khaama Press, the USplans to award 80 Fulbright scholarships to Afghan students this year, including 77 for Master’s and three for PhD degrees.
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