For the first time in its history, the University of Houston is ranked among the top producing Fulbright institutions in the nation, announced today by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. With a record 12 UH students receiving Fulbright awards for research and teaching in 2019-20, UH is one of only two research institutions in Texas to make the prestigious list, published annually in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
In the last two years, the University has produced 18 Fulbrights, a significant achievement marking a sharp rise in national competitiveness. For perspective, over the previous 50 years between 1966 and 2017, UH received a total of 35 Fulbright students. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, created to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.
“Developing students as global citizens is extremely important to the University of Houston,” said Paula Myrick Short, UH senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “As the only public research university in one of the most diverse regions of the nation, cultural exchange and learning abroad opportunities are key elements of our student experience.”
The University’s Fulbright recipients are currently teaching, studying and conducting research abroad and represent the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS), College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM), Bauer College of Business, College of Education and the interdisciplinary Honors College.
The Fulbrights have the chance to address critical issues—from sustainable energy and climate change to public health and food security—in all areas, while building relationships, knowledge and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States and the world.
“Our goal is to create a vibrant Fulbright culture at UH,” said Ben Rayder, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards. “To be recognized as a Fulbright top-producing institution not only demonstrates that we are well on our way, but also that UH students will continue to be competitive for this opportunity in the future.”
Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given over 390,000 passionate and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to important international problems. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide, with the aim of solving global challenges.
“We are delighted to see that the colleges and universities we are honoring as 2019-2020 Fulbright top producing institutions reflect the geographic and institutional diversity of higher education in the United States,” said Marie Royce, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs. “We are committed to the Fulbright Program’s goals of creating lasting professional and personal connections by sending passionate and accomplished U.S. students of all backgrounds to study, research or teach English in communities throughout the world.”
Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs and university presidents, as well as leading journalists, artists, scientists and teachers. They include 59 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 71 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors.