The Office of International Affairs (OIA) in collaboration with the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships at the University of Oregon have established a new full tuition scholarship for students from Nepal.
“The University of Oregon has a deep commitment to global engagement, with long ties to Nepal and South Asia,” said Dennis Galvan, UO vice provost for international affairs. “When tragedy struck our distant sister city, Kathmandu, we could not stand idly by.”
The scholarship comes as part of the UO response to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 25 in Nepal that killed 8,800 people and left more than 23,000 injured.
The $30,000 award is intended to help a Nepalese student cover tuition costs at the UO. The scholarship can be awarded to either a graduate or undergraduate student, in a field of study that can enable the student to return home and contribute to the reconstruction needs of Nepal.
“Offering a scholarship to a student from Nepal is a very small demonstration of our commitment to the people of this country as they move forward,” said Roger Thompson, UO vice president for enrollment management. “By providing this funding for a top student from Nepal, the University of Oregon can help educate a future leader who can make a positive difference in their home country.”
The devastation of Nepal has evoked a keen sense of regret for many in the community, as Eugene is a sister city to Kathmandu.
The Eugene Kathmandu Sister City Association has existed since 1975. The association was initiated by UO Professor Emeritus of Education Hugh B. Wood, in large measure to provide educational opportunities to Nepalese students. In the wake of the earthquake, the association has been busy rallying support and raising funds for rebuilding efforts in Nepal.
Following the April 25th earthquake in Kathmandu, the Eugene Kathmandu Sister City Association raised $30,000 for relief efforts. The donated funds went to agencies that are on the ground and delivering aid. These include the Gorkha Foundation, the America-Nepal Medical Foundation, Next Generation Nepal (to rescue at-risk children from exploitation), and Mountain Child (to provide water purification equipment in Kathmandu).
“The scholarship being offered by the university is testimony to the special bond between Eugene and Kathmandu,” said Harvey Blustain, chairman of the Eugene Kathmandu Sister City Association. “Nepal needs to rebuild after the earthquake, and there is no better way to do that than by preparing young scholars to contribute to the reconstruction of the country.”
The UO Nepal Scholarship committee hopes to issue the first award to an incoming student starting fall 2016. Abe Schafermeyer, director of international student & scholar services will be leading the selection committee.