On behalf of the Philippine-American Educational Foundation (PAEF), also known as the Fulbright Commission in the Philippines, we would like to wish you a warm and prosperous New Year. It is with much excitement that we look forward to engaging our different stakeholders – our current and future scholars, alumni and government partners – in 2018.
In 2017, the Commission achieved several important milestones in the Philippines. A total of 70 scholars – 54 Filipinos and 16 Americans – participated in the different Fulbright exchange programs across a range of academic disciplines. Last July 2017, the first group of Filipino scholars under the Fulbright – Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Scholarships started their post-graduate studies in the United States. The program aims to lift the teaching and research capabilities of Filipino lecturers and professors to international standards in light of major reforms in Philippine education. A second Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the Fulbright – CHED scholarships was signed by CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan and US Ambassador Sung Y. Kim to highlight the importance of and commitment to the program.
This year, we celebrate our most significant milestone to date – Fulbright marks its 70th year in the Philippines, making it the oldest Fulbright program in the world and the oldest international scholarship program offered in the Philippines. Founded in 1948 and starting with four Filipino scholars, the Fulbright program has accepted over 3,000 scholars and produced notable alumni – statesmen, captains of industry, national artists, scientists and internationally-renowned experts. Fulbright alumni have gone on to make significant achievements in their respective fields and contribute to nation building. The Commission is proud to have been part of their professional and academic development.
In 2018, the Commission continues its commitment to fostering better understanding of American and Filipino cultures. Through Fulbright, lasting friendships and partnerships have been forged, contributing to strengthened relations between the United States and the Philippines. US Senator J. William Fulbright, who established the program in 1946, firmly believed in international education exchanges as a means of establishing mutually constructive and beneficial relationships between nations. Intellectual discourse and exchange, he believed, are far more effective in bringing humanity closer to harmony and peace than any other means.
Lastly, I invite men and women of vision and determination to join the Fulbright program. I encourage you to fulfill your potential, to contribute to your country, and make your dreams into a reality through the Fulbright experience. There is nothing like it: after your studies, you return to the Philippines a completely different person ready to put into action what you’ve learned in the United States. The Commission stands ready to assist you with your Fulbright Journey. As Senator Fulbright once said:
“Our future is not in the stars but in our own minds and hearts. Creative leadership and liberal education, which in fact go together, are the first requirements for a hopeful future for humankind.”
Once again, best wishes to you in 2018!