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HONOLULU (East-West Wire, July 22) – Hawaii’s East-West Center has received $1 million in grant funding from the U.S. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to support the U.S.-East Timor Scholarship (USET) and U.S.-South Pacific Scholarship (USSP) Programs.

The funding, appropriated by the U.S. Congress, will be divided equally between the two scholarship programs, making possible the placement of 10 students in undergraduate and graduate degree programs at the University of Hawai'i and other U.S. institutions.

"The East-West Center is very pleased to be able to provide access to higher education to exceptional men and women from East Timor and the South Pacific through these very significant scholarship programs," said EWC Education Director Terance Bigalke.

USET and USSP scholarships provide educational and leadership development opportunities to young people who are expected to contribute to political, economic and social development in their home countries and strengthen relations with the U.S. Since 1999, competitive, merit-based scholarships have been awarded to 24 students from East Timor.

More than 50 Pacific Island students have earned scholarships through the East-West Center since 1994.

"These two scholarship programs demonstrate U.S. commitment to East Timor and the nations of the South Pacific, and are of significant long-term benefit to the people of these regions," said Thomas Farrell, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs at the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. "Through these programs, administered through a State Department grant to the East-West Center, qualified students have an opportunity to achieve their individual academic goals, and learn more about the institutions and values of an open and democratic society. Over time, that knowledge will contribute to the development of their countries and strengthen the ties between the people of the U.S., East Timor, and the nations of the South Pacific."

The East-West Center is an education and research organization established by the U.S. Congress in 1960 to strengthen relations and understanding among the nations of Asia, the Pacific and the U.S. The Center promotes the development of a stable, prosperous and peaceful Asia Pacific community through cooperative study, training, research and dialog.

In 2004 there were 364 students from 43 countries enrolled in various education programs at the EWC. Overall, the Center's student community is larger than it has been in more than three decades.

July 22, 2005

East-West Wire : EastWestWire@EastWestCenter.org

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