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The Welsh Government and the Global Wales programme, led by Universities Wales, have announced new partnerships with the prestigious Fulbright and Gilman international scholarship programmes.

First published:
29 May 2019
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

The agreements will fund the mobility of students and researchers between both countries, with the aim of developing long term educational links.

The partnerships were officially launched last night at the NAFSA Annual Conference and Expo 2019 in Washington D.C., the largest international education conference in the world. Global Wales is attending the conference alongside the Welsh universities. Their aim is to increase our universities international partnerships, bringing more international students to Wales and encouraging more Welsh students to study abroad. More than 20,000 overseas students currently study at Welsh universities each year. 

The Fulbright agreement aims to strengthen ties and increase traffic between the US and Welsh Universities. Postgraduate students and researchers from Wales will study in the United States, with equivalent places for American students at Welsh universities. 

Following the Education Minister, Kirsty Williams’, visit to the United States last year, the Fulbright Commission and the Institute for International Education agreed to promote Wales’ research institutions throughout the US. The Minister has agreed that Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University, will also will look after the interests of Wales on the Fulbright Commission Board.  
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Programme is aimed at high achieving students of limited financial means from the United States who might otherwise not have the opportunity to study abroad. The agreement will provide study places and contribute towards living costs for up to ten American undergraduates to study at Welsh universities. 

The partnerships aim to build on existing established links between Welsh and American universities, such as through Seren, the network which supports Welsh high school students to apply for and attend some of the top universities in the world, including Harvard and Yale in the United States. 

The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, said: 

“As someone who spent a year at university in Missouri, I know first-hand the value of studying abroad. These agreements will allow some of our brightest students and academics from Wales to gain experience from studying in the United States and accumulate invaluable knowledge which they can bring back to Wales. 

“It was people from Wales that helped establish some of America’s great universities, such as Brown and Yale. In the same pioneering spirit, we’re inviting young Americans to study in Wales, learn about our country and, most importantly, enjoy their experience of living and studying here. And I’m sure they will return home as ambassadors for Wales, encouraging more of their compatriots to study at one of our excellent Welsh universities.  

“I passionately believe in education as a force to build bridges between our two countries. With our world-leading research and student life which is rated as among the best in the UK, I hope many of our friends from the US will choose to live, work or study in Wales for years to come.

Professor Iwan Davies, Chair of the Global Wales Board, said:

“I am delighted that these prestigious scholarships have been established with the renowned Fulbright and Gilman programmes. 

“These agreements support our shared goal of growing the already significant educational relationships between our countries. The opportunity to increase student and researcher mobility between Wales and the US will be of huge benefit, not only to the individuals concerned but to our universities and campuses. 

“These scholarships will allow more US students the opportunity to experience Wales’ high quality education experience and will enrich and further internationalise Welsh classrooms. Moreover, we look forward to maintaining longstanding relationships with our Fulbright and Gilman scholars long after they graduate, building lasting relationships into the future.

Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Marie Royce, about this new partnership in support of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Programme, said: 

“Through the Gilman-Global Wales partnership, more American students from all backgrounds will have the opportunity to study or intern abroad and share the rich diversity of our country as citizen diplomats overseas. This partnership reflects our collective efforts to increase and diversify U.S. student participation in study abroad and is an affirmation of the close cooperation between the United States and Wales.