US-UK Fulbright Commission Announces New Award with the Northern Ireland Assembly and Queen’s University Belfast

The US-UK Fulbright Commission is delighted to announce a new ground-breaking joint award with the Northern Ireland Assembly and Queen’s University Belfast. This annual award will offer an American student the opportunity to come to Belfast as a Fulbright Scholar to pursue an MA in Legislative Studies and Practice. The highly innovative postgraduate degree, based within Queens University Belfast’s School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, allows participants to spend a significant amount of time at the Northern Ireland Assembly acquiring hand-on skills and inside knowledge of the legislature.

This new Fulbright award has been formally recognised by the US Presidentially-appointed Fulbright Scholarship Board in Washington DC, and will be formally announced by the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mr William Hay MLA on Thursday, 17 January 2013 at a lunchtime reception which will also be attended by the American Consul General, Greg Burton. 

The US-UK programme is the most competitive of the 150 Fulbright bi-national programmes in the world. The first recipient to hold this new award, in academic year 2014-15, will have been chosen from amongst the best and the brightest American students.

This award will add to a growing portfolio of Fulbright opportunities between the USA and Northern Ireland, for incoming American and outgoing Northern Irish ‘Fulbrighters’. In academic year 2012, there were more America Fulbrighters at Queen’s University Belfast than any other university in the UK.

Greg Burton, the Consul General said “Many Americans have greatly enriched their academic or professional experiences through a Fulbright Scholarship in Northern Ireland and we are delighted that the Fulbright Commission is building on these successes.  I applaud everyone involved in this collaborative project which will deepen our transatlantic ties and provide life-changing opportunities for those selected. “

Speaker William Hay said “This new award is a fantastic opportunity for a student to gain first-hand experience of political life here as well as gaining a unique insight into how the Northern Ireland Assembly works.  We look forward to welcoming the new student to Parliament Buildings and are pleased to be working with the well-respected Fulbright Commission.  This programme will further strengthen the links between Northern Ireland and the United States and we look forward to playing our part in educating the next generation of American leaders.”

Professor Rick Wilford the Director of the Legislative Studies and Practice programme at Queen’s said: ‘The addition of a Fulbright Scholarship to the Programme is a recognition of both its quality and its growing international reputation. It helps to further strengthen the relationship between the University and the Assembly and helps both to develop their links with a key educational provider in the United States. We very much look forward to welcoming the first recipient of the Scholarship in the autumn of 2013’. 

Notes for editors

About the US-UK Fulbright Commission:

The US-UK Fulbright Commission was created by treaty on 22 September 1948. The Fulbright Commission offers grants at postgraduate and postdoctoral level for study in any discipline and at any accredited institution in the US and UK, as well as a number of special exchanges programmes for shorter projects or for younger scholars. During the last six decades, approximately 15,000 UK nationals have studied in the US and 13,000 US nationals in the UK as part of the Fulbright Programme. Prominent alumni of the Fulbright Programme include poet Sylvia Plath, Charles Kennedy MP, journalist and author Toby Young and the economist and noble prize winner Milton Friedman. 

About the Fulbright Programme Worldwide:

Created in the aftermath of the Second World War through the vision of US Senator J William Fulbright, the Fulbright Programme promotes the twin goals of academic excellence and cultural understanding. It operates in more than 150 countries, providing students, scholars and professionals with the opportunity to observe each others’ political, economic and cultural institutions, exchange ideas and embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world’s inhabitants. 

About the Fulbright Advisory Service:

The US-UK Fulbright Commission also supports exchange through its advisory service. The advising staff provide information and host events for those interested in US study. The service is the UK’s official source of information on educational opportunities in the US and is part of the EducationUSA network.