U.S. Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Ambassador Richard Jones announced an additional $37.5 million to fund university education for public high school graduates from across Lebanon through the USAID University Scholarship Program (USP) at a reception this morning at the American University of Beirut (AUB). The USP has provided merit-based scholarships for approximately 1,000 students to study at top American-style universities such as the American University of Beirut (AUB), the Lebanese American University (LAU), and Haigazian University since its launch in September 2010. Today’s announcement brings America’s total investment in the USP program to nearly $100 million over the past 5 years and will allow at least 320 additional students to access high quality education at either AUB or LAU.
USP scholars are selected based on merit, academic performance, and financial need. They benefit from full four-year scholarship support including tuition fees, housing expenses, medical insurance, textbooks, and a monthly stipend. All scholars are required to maintain academic excellence, actively engage in community service and leadership training, and partake in career preparation workshops.
At today’s reception, CDA Jones had the chance to hear testimonials from current USP scholars and learn more about their community service projects. The CDA praised their commitment to give back to their communities and highlighted that the American-Lebanese partnership in the field of education dates back over 150 years.
The University Scholarship Program (USP) is only one element of the American government’s investment in education in Lebanon. The American people, through USAID, have provided more than $180 million dollars in assistance for education programs in Lebanon since 2010. This assistance has helped renovate public school buildings, provided public school teachers with English language proficiency courses, and equipped schools with science laboratory and computer equipment and trained staff on its use. The Middle East Partnership Initiative and the Embassy’s Public Diplomacy section also help train teachers in new methodologies, offer after-school enrichment classes, and give high school students in rural areas access to American English language courses.