US, PH partner to send Burmese youth to college

MANILA – The United States and the Philippines have partnered to provide Burmese youth with the opportunity to pursue quality higher education through a five-year initiative being funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

The US Embassy in Manila on Tuesday said the Philippines was selected as one of the Asian countries where these students can study under the USD45 million USAID Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program.

Through this, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will provide full scholarships for students from Myanmar to enroll in various public and private universities in the Philippines and in online programs through the University of Arizona.

USAID will work closely with CHED to streamline the admission process for the students and provide support services to facilitate their transition to studying in Philippine universities.

The universities include Batangas State University, Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas, St. Louis University in Baguio, the University of the Philippines-Diliman, and the University of the Philippines-Los Baños.

The Burmese scholars are expected to arrive in the Philippines by July 2024 to allow them to begin their studies in the coming academic year.

“Through our partnership with USAID, CHED is honored to support Burmese youth in higher education,” CHED Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III said.

“We continuously advocate for equitable, quality, and inclusive higher education, aiming to empower students from all backgrounds. Together, we’re breaking barriers, building bridges, and driving transformative change through higher education,” he added.

USAID’s Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program targets to benefit young community leaders in Myanmar, especially those from marginalized and vulnerable groups.

The program also offers grants to help higher education institutions in Asia strengthen their capacity to support international students by boosting institutional partnerships, growing regional networks, and expanding community service-oriented activities.

“This scholarship program is a strategic investment in higher education institutions in the region,” USAID Assistant Administrator for Asia Michael Schiffer said. “It recognizes our shared commitment to education as a catalyst for positive change in Burma and around the world.” (PNA)