Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

In Pursuit of a More Colorful Fulbright

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

In Pursuit of a More Colorful Fulbright

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - The Fulbright Educational Exchange Program, which has been responsible for 250,000 fellowships for students, teachers, and scholars to study abroad in the last fifty years, should expand its reach into colleges that serve students of color, including community colleges and more state universities, a new advisory commission has said.

That recommendation is one of several made by a nineteen-member advisory commission of prominent educators, politicians and international affairs experts who studied the Fulbright Program for a year. Their report, Fulbright at Fifty, concludes that the program, which has been cut by the Congress in recent years, is "vital" and should at least be brought back to previous funding levels of $125 million a year.

In receiving the report, President Bill Clinton said, "One of the hallmark qualities of the Fulbright program is the opportunity for young people - many of whom might otherwise not be able to afford international study - to compete for grants based on merit and leadership potential. A national commitment to broaden participation is essential."

Committee chair William Friday, the executive director of the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, said that, "While the Fulbright's fundamental concepts are as vital for the future as they were in the past, changes are needed."

The Fulbright program is named after Senator William J. Fulbright, who conceived of the idea of an academic exchange program in the period just after World War II as a way to foster international understanding and tolerance. …

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