Virtual Celebration of the Anniversary of the Fulbright Program Funded by the Government of Mongolia Connects Fulbrighters and Reaches an Audience of Thousands
On December 19, 2020, the Embassy of the United States in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and the Ministry of Education and Science virtually celebrated the 10th anniversary of the agreement establishing the Fulbright Foreign Student Program funded by the Government of Mongolia.
The four-hour online celebration featured six panel discussions and over 30 university presentations, attracted around 750 participants, and reached tens of thousands more on Facebook and other social media platforms. The opening session was simulcast live on Facebook, reached over 11,500 people, and has been viewed over 5,600 times by Monday, December 21.
Ambassador of the United Statesto Mongolia Michael S. Klecheski and Minister of Education and Science of Mongolia H.E. Tsedevsuren Lkhagva participated in the opening of the virtual celebration.
In his remarks opening the program, Ambassador Klecheski said, “I’m always impressed when somebody tells me, wherever it could be, I’m a Fulbrighter. It’s really a great distinction. Fulbright creates a real network of impressive and notable people that come together to have a tremendous impact not just on any one country, not just U.S. – Mongolian relations, but really on the whole world.”
The Fulbright Program creates connections in a complex and changing world. Led by the United States government in partnership with 160 countries worldwide, Fulbright offers unparalleled international educational and cultural exchange experiences. Our global network of Fulbrighters fosters mutual understanding between the United States and partner nations, advances knowledge across communities, and improves lives around the globe.
Ambassador Klecheski continued, “Since its [bi-national program] inception, those ten years ago, about 97 Mongolians pursued graduate level studies in about 50 U.S. colleges, including my alma mater Columbia University. Even more important than your impressive academic accomplishments is what you’ve all done since returning to Mongolia. That’s something that we’re very excited to hear from you today.”
Forty Fulbright alumni participated in six panel discussions on the topics of business and the economy; the environment, information technology; public policy; education; and health. Alumni shared their Fulbright experience in the United States and their contributions to Mongolia’s development since their return. Over 30 Fulbright alumni also presented their U.S. universities, drawing people who are interested to learn about studying in the United States and about the Fulbright Student Program.
The very first Mongolian Fulbright Student participant traveled to the United States in 1994, and since then the U.S. Department of State has supported and funded almost 300 two-way Fulbright exchanges between the two countries.
In 2009, the Government of Mongolia initiated discussions on expanding the Fulbright Program and establishing a Binational Fulbright Foreign Student Program. The United States and Mongolia signed the founding agreement on December 15, 2010. Since its inception, the program has enabled 97 Mongolian young professionals to pursue graduate degrees in the United States in various fields including education, environmental science, public health, geology, mining engineering, and more.
Also opening the event, Minister of Education Tsedevsuren said “Happy 10th anniversary of the Fulbright Student Program funded by the Government of Mongolia. Our cooperation, joint projects, and programs with the United States in the education sector has been expanding and improving. One example is the signing of the Binational Fulbright Student Program agreement. In the last 10 years, 97 students pursued studies in Mongolia’s priority fields at top United States universities.”
The anniversary celebration was not only a great opportunity to showcase the program’s first decade of success and outcomes but also to re-connect program alumni in various fields to share experiences and knowledge.
The Minister of Education of Mongolia added, “Thanks to the students – you are the bridge of our two countries’ cooperation and development. We trust you’ll bring the knowledge you’ve gained through this program to the development of Mongolia through innovative and productive initiatives.”
The United States and Mongolia, strategic partners, share a strong friendship and commitment to promote and protect human rights, democracy, good governance, sovereignty, peace, and prosperity through educational and professional exchange programs and alumni engagement. To learn more about the Fulbright Student Program, click here.