BAGHDAD -- Iraq has the largest share of the U.S. Fulbright scholarship program and the share will increase further after the Iraqi government recently pledged millions of dollars to the program, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq reports.
Rafiq Mansur, the U.S. cultural attache in Baghdad, told RFE/RL that Iraq has committed $2.5 million to the program, doubling the Fulbright Student Scholar Program for Iraq and allowing the number of scholarships available for Iraqis to double from 35 to 70.
Mansur explained that the Fulbright program works closely with the Iraqi Higher Education Ministry. He added that candidates for the Fulbright program are interviewed by a joint U.S.-Iraqi panel.
Mansur suggested that such cooperation could be further developed, from the current memos of understanding to interuniversity linkage between Iraqi and American universities.
He said that Iraq also has the lion's share of the U.S. International Visitor Program, under which some 170 Iraqis, including journalists, are to visit the United States next year to meet and confer with their U.S. counterparts and experience the United States firsthand.