Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, October 24, 2011

U-M leads nation in Fulbright U.S. Student grants for 2011-12

U-M has 29 students receiving Fulbright grants for the 2011-12 academic year, topping the list of U.S. institutions for the fifth time in the past seven years.


More information

Complete list of 2011-12 U-M Fulbright winners
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program at U-M

As participants in one of the most competitive and prestigious awards programs in the world, the students will travel to 25 countries to do research, study or teach English for six to 12 months.

Their interests range from researching structural engineering in Norway and cancer screening in Tanzania to water quality in India and literature in Germany.

"It's no accident that the University of Michigan has consistently achieved high numbers of grantees in a scholarship competition designed to enhance global exchanges," says Ken Kollman, director of the International Institute. "The university has taken great care to foster an environment that values and promotes student immersion in other cultures."

The grants are awarded to about 1,700 students each year on the basis of academic or professional achievement as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

The program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries. It offers grants in nearly all fields and disciplines and operates in more than 135 countries worldwide.

Ranking behind U-M this year was Northwestern University with 27 recipients, Yale University with 26 and the University of Chicago with 25.

George Dong, who completed his U-M bachelor's degree in 2009, is among the new grantees. He plans to research access to higher education for minorities in Yunnan, a province in southwestern China.

"My parents grew up in rural China and never had the opportunity to attend college," Dong says. "I applied to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program because I want to return to my parents' home country to help underprivileged students in Yunnan Province. I hope to use insights gained from this experience to develop a broader understanding of how to improve and expand educational opportunities for all."