Grant awarded to Asian University for Women (AUW)

Asian University for Women (AUW) is an international liberal arts and sciences university in Chittagong, Bangladesh which seeks to cultivate the region’s next generation of women leaders.  AUW is unique in its mission to provide excellent higher education to particularly marginalized women, free of cost. At baseline, no university exists that specifically serves Asia’s regional need for an institution of high quality that is financially, culturally and logistically accessible to young women from poor, rural, and refugee populations.  AUW invites several targeted communities to join the University through its pre-university program, Pathways for Promise. These communities include: • Former garments workers from Bangladesh • Daughters of tea leaf pickers in India and Sri Lanka • Women from highly-trafficked regions of Nepal • Indigenous women from the Asian highlands • Women educated in the Madrasa system • Daughters of Grameen Bank and other microfinance borrowers. The most significant challenge to expanding access to higher education is cost. While primary school education can be provided with relatively few resources, much more significant support is required at the university level. Such costs necessitate an opportunity for women, in particular, to access university scholarships. In developing countries where women’s education is not a cultural priority, university fees can be an almost insurmountable barrier to entry, especially for poor families.

The Grant will be used  for the 2020-2021 academic year to fund the scholarships of new students in Pathways for Promise. This grant will cover tuition, room and board, health insurance, school supplies, and travel to and from the student’s home country. Quantifiable results indicating students’ progress in becoming educated and empowered leaders include: 1. Completion of Pathways for Promise. Achievement of a 3 or 4 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). 2. Completion of Access Academy a. Participation in Leadership Seminar. 3. Achievement of increasingly improved CGPA. 4. Enrolment in courses that encourage critical thinking, class participation, and analysis of global issues. 5. Participation in summer internships. 6. Participation in extracurricular activities.