The United States government pledged to provide $11.4 million worth of higher education scholarships to American-affiliated Lebanese universities for the next academic year, U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard announced Tuesday. Richard made the announcement for funding through the University Support Program during a meeting with American University of Beirut president Fadlo Khuri and Lebanese American University president Joseph Jabbra. The ambassador underscored the U.S. government’s continued support for education, “as the critical building block of a prosperous, secure and tolerant society.”
The funds donated will support at least 104 scholarships.
“While Lebanese youth are mastering the core elements of their substantive areas of interest, they are also learning life skills of critical thinking, community service and succeeding in a globalized economy,” with the help of the U.S. Agency for International Development, a statement from the American Embassy read.
Malek Tabbal, AUB’s director of the USP, told The Daily Star that the positive impact of the program on Lebanon would continue to show for decades to come. “These scholars are top academic achievers coming from modest backgrounds and public high schools from all over Lebanon and are given the opportunity to join one of the top universities in the Middle East.”
“In addition to the academic requirements, the USP scholars are heavily involved with the community and in leadership activities and community based projects,” he said.
The USP is a comprehensive undergraduate scholarship program enabling academically meritorious but economically disadvantaged public school graduates to attend AUB and LAU. The U.S. government has invested nearly $100 million in the program since its inception in 2010.
Article soucre: The Daily Star