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Empowering Bold Leaders

Projected to open in September 2016, the AWLU will be a private, not-for-profit university modeled on the U.S. "Seven Sisters" liberal arts colleges. With Smith College (USA) as the chief academic planning partner, the institute will combine American-style liberal arts and sciences education with a leadership and entrepreneurship curriculum relevant to Asia. We will seek promising women from diverse backgrounds to be a part of our vibrant residential learning community.

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UPDATE FROM THE AWLU PROJECT BOARD

The AWLU Project regrets to inform all of its supporters and stakeholders that, despite our best efforts and major milestones achieved in the establishment of the AWLU - including collecting commitments of RM35 million to meet the Ministry of Education of Malaysia's capital requirement - our applications for a university license to establish the AWLU in Malaysia have been rejected.  The Board has thus decided to suspend all activities related to the establishment of the AWLU in Malaysia while we look for other avenues to pursue our goals of supporting women's empowerment and leadership development throughout Asia and other developing regions.  We thank you for your continued support and look forward to sharing more news with you as our activities progress.

- Board of Directors of the AWLU Project, April 2015

The international team of the Asian Women’s Leadership University (AWLU) Project is working to establish a global educational institution dedicated to empowering women across Asian, the Middle East and other emerging regions to become engaged and socially conscious leaders who will promote cross-cultural understanding, regional development, and international cooperation.

With Smith College (MA, USA) as the chief academic planning partner, the AWLU will be the first of its kind: a not-for-profit women’s liberal arts university in Asia, modeled along the tradition of the prestigious “Seven Sisters” colleges in the United States, which have yielded graduates prominent in every field of endeavor.

The AWLU will offer an exceptional liberal arts and sciences curriculum grounded in a regional context, with leadership emphasized in all aspects of student development. The curriculum will foster historical and comparative perspectives, critical thinking and problem solving skills in a variety of learning environments, including classroom, residential settings and internships.

The University’s diverse student body will exemplify a common spirit of enterprise and social commitment.  Together, the alumnae of AWLU, as the next generation of leaders, will promote positive change at the community, national, regional and global levels.

We invite you to learn more about the AWLU Project's vision, our team of international supporters and how you can participate in the Project.

 

Updates

 

AWLU Project Chairperson S. Mona Sinha receives Ellis Island Medal of HonorThe AWLU Project is pleased to announce that its Chairperson, S. Mona Sinha, has received the 2015 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. The award, given by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO), is presented annually to American citizens who have distinguished themselves within their own ethnic groups while exemplifying the values of the American way of life. Past Medalists include six U.S. President, one foreign President, Nobel Prize winners and leaders of industry, education, the arts, sports and government. You can read more about NECO and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor here.
UPDATE FROM THE AWLU PROJECT BOARDThe AWLU Project regrets to inform all of its supporters and stakeholders that, despite our best efforts and major milestones achieved in the establishment of the AWLU – including collecting commitments of RM35 million to meet the Ministry of Education of Malaysia’s capital requirement – our applications for a university license to establish the AWLU in Malaysia have been rejected.  The Board has thus decided to suspend all activities related to the establishment of the AWLU in Malaysia while we look for other avenues to pursue our goals of supporting women’s empowerment and leadership development throughout Asia and other developing regions.  We thank you for your continued support and look forward to sharing more news with you as our activities progress.
AWLU Project Welcomes its new Social Media Intern Hui Xin NgWe are pleased to welcome Hui Xin Ng, currently a philosophy major at Smith College, to the AWLU Project team as a Social Media Intern. Hui Xin’s specific academic interests lie in the philosophy of history and philosophy of science and medicine. In the past, she has dabbled in the arts and participated in scientific research projects, including the organization of SPARTFEST – the largest student-run arts festival in Malaysia (her home country) – and assisting in geological field research and being a student journalist for a local newspaper. She is always seeking to establish the connections between the arts and sciences, academic knowledge and experiential skill-based learning.  She believes that a liberal arts education allows both the generalist and the specialist to shape their own educational experiences.

Events

 

AWLU Project Board member Datuk Dr. Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria to participate in 24th annual Global Summit of WomenAWLU Project Board member Datuk Dr. Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria, current Secretary General at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in Malaysia, will be traveling to Paris June 5-7th, 2014, to participate in the 2014 Global Summit of Women, an annual event bringing together women leaders from across the business, government and social sectors to discuss the roles of women in affecting positive economic and social change. This year’s theme, “Women: Redesigning Economies, Societies” posits women and women-lead action as the quintessence of thriving communities, sustainable business practices and overall healthy social growth. In particular, this year’s selection of leaders (comprising female government officials from around the world and the CEOs of leading multinational corporations) exemplify the theme’s focus on how women, as entrepreneurs and executives, are continuously revitalizing the business sphere and, in the process, cultivating conditions for peace. AWLU Project welcomed Datuk Rebecca to its Board this past fall.  She describes her interest in AWLU as stemming from her commitment to the belief that “there are only upsides to empowering women”. To learn more about the event theme, how to register and attend, and read more about the leaders joining Datuk Rebecca at the conference, please read the Summit brochure.
Board member Zarinah Anwar to speak on women’s impact on national development in LondonWe are pleased to announce an upcoming presentation by AWLU Project’s Co-Chair Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar in London this week. Zarinah, former Chairman of the Malaysian Securities Commission and former Deputy Director of Shell Malaysia, will be speaking to a gathering of Malaysian students from universities across London on the role of women in national development, as part of an overall workshop aimed at fostering engagement between Malaysian leaders and Malaysian students in the UK.  Read more about Zarinah on our Board bio page. Best of luck to Zarinah!
AWLU Board Member Judy Cheng-Hopkins invited to speak at London School of Economic (LSE) on Peacebuilding*This event is open to the public. For information on reserving a seat or accessing the transcripts and podcasts of this event, please visit the event page here.* AWLU Project Board Member and UN Assistant Secretary-General of Peacebuilding Support Judy Cheng-Hopkins has been invited by the Department of International Development at the London School of Economics (LSE) to speak on the concept of Peacebuilding, its interpretations and applications in UN programmes and the restrictions of the paradigm in her speech “Peacebuilding: what is it and why is it important?”. The lecture will be from 6:30-8pm on Tuesday, March 4th, 2013, at the Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, on LSE’s campus. The lecture, will highlight, in particular, how the inherent presence of such discourses over the definition of peacebuilding influence current UN policy and inform governance structures, including the UN Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund. Best of luck to Judy!  

Blog

“A place with so many choices”: An Interview with Madhu GiriMadhu Giri hails from Singapore, where she completed her A-levels before following her instincts to study abroad by finishing her high school in Canada and applying for schools in the US. Now a fresh graduate (class of 2014) of Mount Holyoke College – one of the Seven Sister’s – in western Massachusetts, she shares her reflections on the experience of an all-women’s institution with Yutong Jiang, of the Project’s Social Media team.   What is Mount Holyoke, to you? I love MHC [Mount Holyoke College]. It was where I could focus on academics for four years, and the environment is so international…people from all over the world [were there]. For me, it was a chance to work with these people. As a women’s college, [MHC was] a place with so many choices. I came originally intending to do International Relations, and now I’ve fallen in love with languages. I am taking classes in human rights and writing. MHC makes you think. It makes you see the world in a different way.   How did you choose Mount Holyoke?  Where else were you considering? Honestly, I had no idea where to choose. My choice was originally based on which school gave me the most [financial] aid. I applied to 6 US colleges and Mount Holyoke made it possible to come to this place, financially.   What has it been like attending school so far from home? Does your family share your experiences here with you? It has been difficult. I missed them so much. I was trying to tell them everything [that was happening in college]. Every time I was back home, the environment had changed.  [But] it has been a very rewarding experience. I met so many people here [at college] who have become another family for me. You see Read More