The Asian University for Women (AUW) and Syngenta Asia Pacific announced on Thursday that Syngenta would sponsor US$375,000 in scholarship fees for five female AUW students for five years.
This scholarship programme, the first of its kind, is aimed at empowering women from rural farming communities in Bangladesh and India to achieve higher education, the company said in a release.
Valid for a period between January 2022 and December 2026, the scholarship will cover tuition, room and board, health coverage, textbooks, and supplies. There is a possibility of internship opportunities with Syngenta.
Of the five-year scholarship period, students will devote an entire year to learning English under AUW’s rubric of ‘Pathways for Promise’, according to the arrangement.
They are scheduled to spend the second year at the Access Academy for further academic preparation for all core academic subjects, and the last three years will be devoted to completing a US accreditation-eligible undergraduate programme.
This initiative, the company said, is in recognition of the significant economic contributions of women to agriculture and is aligned with the commitments of AUW and Syngenta to expand opportunities to help rural women succeed.
“Syngenta sponsors a scholarship programme to improve the lives of smallholders in Bangladesh by facilitating their children for higher education especially in rural areas,” Syngenta-BangladeshManaging Director AMM GolamTowhid said, hoping that it would “enable our female students from farming community a chance to explore their possibilities, empowering them in making a contribution to the community.”
AUW founder Kamal Ahmad added, “By dedicating scholarships to the daughters of landless agricultural workers, AUW joins Syngenta in lifting the curtain against that great divide and creating a pathway to discover and nurture the teeming talents that the tyranny of our divided societies otherwise suppress.”
Pamela Gonzalez, Head of Asia Group and APAC Head of Diversity & Inclusion, noted that rural women are key to achieving transformational economic, environmental, and social changes required for sustainable development. “Syngenta and the Asian University for Women are empowering these rural women to become leaders of tomorrow with the right access to quality education,” she said.