CHITTAGONG, BANGLADESH - Media OutReach - August 21, 2018 - Two graduates of the Asian University for Women (AUW) have been selected to pursue Master's degrees in international studies and economics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington D.C. as part of the SAIS Women Lead Initiative (SWL). Sabiha Subah Mohona and Samanta Sharmin Laskar, both nationals of Bangladesh, graduated from AUW with Economics degrees in 2016. They are the inaugural fellows of a fully-funded program established by AUW and SAIS to recruit qualified graduates to pursue advanced training in international studies and economics at SAIS. Throughout their two-year graduate program at SAIS, Sabiha and Samanta will study full-time, participate in professional mentorship opportunities, and complete a SAIS Women Lead practicum and internship.
AUW is a leading international, independent university for women located in Chittagong, Bangladesh. It offers an liberal arts and science education to women of outstanding academic and leadership potential, regardless of their social, economic, national, or religious background. Since AUW's first Commencement Ceremony in 2013, AUW graduates have earned placements at top Master's and Doctoral programs in the US and the UK, including those of Columbia, Stanford, New York University, and University of Oxford.
"We are absolutely delighted to hear of our alumnae commencing their graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University through the SAIS Women Lead Initiative. Sabiha and Samanta are two remarkable young women, who are launching a fruitful partnership between AUW and SAIS to foster the next generation of female leaders in Asia and the Middle East. We are truly inspired by the exceptional determination, focus, and hard work that our alumnae dedicate to their educational and professional pursuits." says Dr. Rosie Bateson, the Dean of Faculty & Academic Affairs at AUW.
SAIS Women Lead is a global women's leadership development program that partners public and private organizations with SAIS' faculty, students, and alumni, to improve the political and economic outcomes of communities through the empowerment of women. By fostering scholarship and cross-cultural exchange, SAIS Women Lead raises awareness of gap areas in research and advocacy to create more inclusive, compassionate, and service-oriented societies. Its mission is to increase and amplify women's leadership around the world to inspire balanced and sound policies.
"Since the first class entered in 1944, SAIS's women students have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their male colleagues and gone on to make immense contributions in all fields. Recognizing that women's empowerment can drive global economic growth and promote human flourishing, SAIS has made a commitment to train women leaders from around the world and to support them in their time here. I am honored to be part of making it possible to support our inaugural SAIS-AUW Fellows Program and look forward to witnessing all the ways they contribute to and enhance our SAIS community as students and alumnae," says Dr. Kathy Pike, Executive Director and Scientific Co-Director of the Global Mental Health Program at Columbia University, and longtime advocate of AUW and SAIS.
"[Both AUW and SWL] are innovations of global importance. More leaders and change agents with a sense of social tolerance are badly needed," remarks Dr. Kent Calder, Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs and International Research Cooperation at SAIS.
About The Asian University for Women
Founded in 2008 and located in Chittagong, Bangladesh, Asian University for Women is the first of its kind: a regional institution dedicated to women's education and leadership development -- international in outlook, but rooted in the contexts and aspirations of the people of Asia. Approximately 800 students from 16 countries attend AUW; over 700 have been graduated. This University exists solely to support a rising network of women leaders, entrepreneurs and change makers from across the region. It seeks out women who have significant academic potential, demonstrate courage and a sense of outrage at injustice, and are empathic to the woes of other people. A majority of AUW's students are first in their family to enter university; 98% of AUW's students are on full or near-full scholarships funded by private donors from around the world. Our support comes from a wide range of individuals, corporations, and foundations that believe in our mission, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, UNIQLO, Maybank, and Lee Foundation, Singapore. A majority of AUW graduates find employment in the private sector in their home countries, while about 25% go on to pursue graduate studies. AUW graduates or former students have been admitted to Stanford, Oxford, Columbia, Brandeis, New York University, Surrey and a host of other leading universities in the world. For more information, please visit www.asian-university.org.