Washington, DC /eNewsChannels/ — On January 25, 2010, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith A. McHale and the Minister of Education, Culture and Science for Mongolia Yondon Otgonbayar met in Washington D.C., during the Minister’s visit to the United States. The two leaders noted that January 27 marks the 23rd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Mongolia and congratulated each other on the growth of the bilateral relationship over the last two decades.

Both leaders affirmed the continuing importance of the bilateral relationship between the two countries and recognized the value of U.S.–Mongolian educational exchanges to the future development of the relationship. Both sides recognized the importance of higher education in creating the human capital necessary for the two countries to cooperate in solving the challenges and seizing the opportunities the United States and Mongolia together face in the 21st century.

As such, the two sides agreed to promote greater exchange opportunities, to encourage more students from both countries to consider studying abroad, and to encourage collaboration between American and Mongolian universities. In furtherance of these shared goals:

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science announced its intention to contribute $1 million U.S. dollars to support the exchange of students and scholars under the U.S.-Mongolia Fulbright Program. The allocation of these funds will be determined by the Government of Mongolia, in consultation with the U.S. Department of State.
The U.S. Department of State announced its intention to increase its base allocation to the U.S.-Mongolia Fulbright Program to $500,000 in U.S. Fiscal Year 2010. In combination with funding allocated for other educational exchange programs, the total contribution from the U.S. Department of State to educational exchanges with Mongolia will exceed $1 million in 2010.

The U.S. Department of State and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science will form an Advisory Committee comprised of an equal number of Mongolian and U.S. members to provide guidance to the administration of the expanded Fulbright exchange. The Committee will follow the worldwide Fulbright principles in overseeing an open, merit-based, and transparent selection process.

In addition, the Department of State applauded and encouraged the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science’s efforts to establish a scholarship program for undergraduates in collaboration with a private sector partner in the United States.

The two leaders acknowledged and noted with appreciation ongoing private sector efforts to further develop a variety of educational exchanges between the two countries. Both leaders welcomed and encouraged these initiatives as a way to further strengthen, deepen and expand educational links between Mongolia and the United States.

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