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Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program Announces 543 New Awards
New Fellows Begin Academic Journey as First IFP Alumni Resume Work Towards Social Justice
New York City, December 21, 2005 The Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program (IFP) announced today the selection of 543 new Ford Foundation International Fellows from among nearly 25,000 applicants in 21 countries and territories across the developing world.
"IFP Fellows have not only excelled in their academic work, they have also begun to contribute in significant ways to progress in their home countries," said Susan V. Berresford, president of the Ford Foundation. "This new group of Fellows will join the growing network of IFP Fellows around the world who are sharing ideas and learning from each others’ expertise and experiences.”
IFP Fellows are selected on the basis of IFP’s three core criteria of academic achievement, strong leadership skills and potential, and commitment to social justice. IFP especially seeks outstanding candidates from marginalized and excluded groups and communities that have little access to higher education.
"The continued strong response of qualified applicants for IFP Fellowships supports IFP's vision of reaching to the global grass roots for committed new leadership," observed Donald McHenry, chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Fellowships Fund, IFP's parent organization, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. "And our IFP alumni are proving that they can apply the knowledge gained in their post-graduate studies to the most pressing problems in their home countries and communities.”
IFP Fellows receive support for up to three years of post-baccalaureate study in an appropriate university program anywhere in the world. To date, more than 1,438 IFP Fellows have enrolled at 426 different universities in 43 countries. Over 25 percent of Fellows who earned masters’ degrees with IFP support are now pursuing doctoral degrees with funds from their universities or other sources, while almost three-quarters of IFP’s nearly 500 graduates are now in their home countries.
“IFP Fellows have demonstrated conclusively that non-traditional students can overcome discrimination and marginalization and succeed academically in the world’s most competitive universities. And IFP alumni are now working actively to promote social justice in their home countries and communities, through work in non-governmental organizations, government posts, and universities,” said IFP Executive Director Joan Dassin. "This reinforces our confidence in IFP’s core belief that higher education can and must contribute to equitable development by enabling committed graduates to serve their countries in the best possible capacity.”
Approximately 3,500 IFP Fellows will be chosen through 2008. This year’s cohort of IFP Fellows was selected from among 24,865 applications received this year in Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Palestine, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, and Vietnam. Mozambique will rejoin the selection process in 2006. A total of 2,021 IFP Fellows have been selected since the program's first Fellows were chosen in June 2001.
IFP Fellows reflect the broad diversity of individuals who are IFP’s principal target: talented individuals from groups and communities lacking systematic access to higher education. Nearly half of all Fellows selected are women, and women are as likely to study internationally, earn doctoral degrees, and specialize in a range of academic fields as their male counterparts. Most of the 543 sixth-round Fellows are the first in their families or communities to gain an opportunity for university or post-graduate studies, and most also come from outside large towns or cities. Twenty-two of the new award winners have overcome serious physical disabilities to continue their education. About a third of IFP Fellows study at universities in their home countries and regions, while about a third select programs in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe, and a third choose to study in Canada and the United States. Photos and brief biographical sketches of several Fellows may be viewed on the IFP Website, www.FordIFP.net.
IFP Fellows are selected in annual competitions by local committees formed by IFP International Partner organizations that administer the program in their countries or regions and set specific regional or country application criteria within the overall program framework. These organizations work closely with Ford Foundation offices in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Russia. General IFP information and updates may be found at IFP’s website, www.FordIFP.Net, along with links to partner websites.
IFP "strategic university partners" include leading institutions around the world that provide language training, mentoring, and academic support for IFP Fellows. IFP works with over 60 universities in some 20 countries where clusters of Fellows have enrolled. Among IFP's university partners are the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, the Center for Tropical Agronomy Research and Education in Costa Rica, Columbia University in New York, the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii, the Institute for Social Studies in The Hague, Netherlands, and the Universities of Sussex, Manchester, and Birmingham, UK.
Networking and leadership activities are an important complement to IFP Fellows’ formal studies and aim to build an enduring cohort of IFP Fellows who can gain from each other’s learning and experience. IFP conducted two Leadership for Social Justice Institutes in 2005, one in the Netherlands and one in the United States. The program also sponsored an international group of Fellows to attend an intensive English course offered by the Spring International Language Center at the University of Arkansas. The next IFP social justice institute is planned for Mexico in February 2006.
IFP was launched in November 2000 with a $280 million grant from the Ford Foundation, the largest in the Foundation’s history. About 3,500 fellows will be selected over the life of the program through 2012.
The IFP secretariat in New York City coordinates work on IFP Fellows’ selection, placement, mentoring, and monitoring with the program’s 20 International Partners worldwide: the Africa America Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa and Maputo, Mozambique; AMIDEAST, Cairo, Egypt, and Ramallah, Palestine; the Asian Scholarship Foundation, Bangkok, Thailand; the Association for Advancement of Higher Education and Development, Kampala, Uganda; the Association of African Universities, Accra, Ghana; Association of African Women for Research and Development, Dakar, Senegal ; the Carlos Chagas Foundation, São Paulo, Brazil; the Center for Educational Exchange with Vietnam, Hanoi; the Center for Research and Higher Studies in Social Science, Mexico City; the Center for Research on the Mesoamerica Region, Antigua, Guatemala; the Economic and Social Research Foundation, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Fundación Equitas, Santiago, Chile; Indonesian International Education Foundation, Jakarta; Forum for African Women Educationalists, Nairobi, Kenya; the Institute of International Education/China, Beijing; the Institute of International Education/Latin America, Mexico City; the Institute of International Education/Russia, Moscow; Pathfinder International, Abuja, Nigeria; the Philippines Social Science Council, Manila, and; the United States Educational Foundation in India, New Delhi.
IFP Fellows may pursue studies in academic disciplines and fields that are consistent with the Ford Foundation's grantmaking goals to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Many Fellows receive short-term language instruction or other training before starting their graduate studies.
IFP is a program of the International Fellowships Fund, an independently incorporated supporting organization of the Institute of International Education (IIE). IFP works closely with several of IIE’s country offices, as well as its New York headquarters, which provides university placement and related services for many IFP Fellows, and with Ford Foundation offices around the world. Other international higher education organizations, including the British Council and the Dutch higher education organization, NUFFIC, also assist with international placements. The Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS) at the University of Twente in the Netherlands conducts IFP program evaluation.
More Information about the International Fellowships Program may be found at: www.FordIFP.net