Female campus wins US support

五月 3, 2002

Plans for a Bangladesh-based university exclusively for women in south Asia have won the support of US congressmen, who called for $3 million (£2 million) in aid to help meet the start-up costs.

International backers expect the Asian University for Women to open in Dhaka in 2005. But, in a letter to Jim Kolbe, chairman of the foreign operations sub-committee of the appropriations committee, the congressmen press for the aid to be available for 2003.

The university is being commissioned as a four-year liberal arts school for women from across south Asia. It aims to attract up to 500 students a year from a variety of backgrounds, with a special emphasis on poor and disadvantaged communities.

The congressmen wrote to Mr Kolbe: "Currently poor Asian women have pitifully little access to higher education, in part because of the religious and social barriers women face throughout the region. By improving the access to and quality of education in Asia, we increase the opportunity for the US to engage in constructive dialogue with these nations. The events of September 11 have clearly demonstrated the need for the creation of the AUW. It is our hope that with education will come moderation."

Its supporters include Mary Robinson, United Nations commissioner for human rights, Mark Malloch Brown, UN development programme administrator, Koichuro Matsuura, director-general of Unesco, and Mamphela Ramphele, managing director for human development at the World Bank.

Its backers said that narrowing the gap between rich and poor and encouraging women is an essential contribution to the pace of progress in developing countries, an issue central to the World Education Market, to be held in Lisbon later this month.

Details: www.asianuniversity.net



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