CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is among the U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2020-21 Fulbright U.S. Student Awards, as announced recently by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Celebrating its 75th anniversary, the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Top-producing institutions are highlighted annually in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Fifteen students from the Urbana campus were offered Fulbright awards for the 2020-21 academic year, placing Illinois among the top 15 public institutions in terms of numbers of students offered grants. In response to Fulbright adaptations to prioritize the health, safety and well-being of participants and host communities, the 2020-21 Fulbright data reflect the total number of awards offered, rather than the number of awards accepted, as in past years. David Schug, the director of the National and International Scholarships Program at Illinois, said the U. of I. has been a perennial leader in student Fulbright grantees, making the top-producing list for 10 of the past 11 years.
The Fulbright competition is administered jointly at Illinois through the National and International Scholarships Program – which assists undergraduates and recent alumni – and the Office of External Fellowships, which focuses on graduate student applications. Both offices have begun working with future candidates, as applications will open April 1 for students and recent alumni interested in pursuing studies, fine arts, research or English teaching assistantships under the Fulbright for the 2022-23 academic year.
Since the Fulbright Program’s inception in 1946, over 400,000 people from all backgrounds – including recent university graduates, teachers, scientists, researchers and artists – have participated and returned with an expanded worldview, a deep appreciation for their host country and its people, and a new network of colleagues and friends.