The grant is sponsored by the State Department and the US Embassy in Islamabad.
This award is the first UNCW has received from the State Department and is the largest State Department grant to a university within the UNC System.
The grant will allow IIUI and UNCW to create a collaborative model in teaching, professional development research and community engagement. Faculty and students from Pakistan will travel to UNCW to engage with members of the campus. UNCW will also begin offering students cultural readings, art exhibits, research, community events, and lectures related to Pakistan.
Dr. Cara Cilano, Professor of English and Grant Program Director, said this grant will help students become better global citizens.
"A great opportunity first to learn more about Pakistan," Cilano explained. "So students will have a great chance to talk, to learn, and to engage with people who they otherwise wouldn't have such an opportunity."
The teaching component of the IIUI-UNCW collaborative model will expand faculty teaching expertise at both institutions through in-person and virtual workshops, mentoring, and pedagogical collaborations.
"All of us at the International Islamic University, Islamabad are excited about our partnership with UNCW. We hope it will be most useful both in terms of academic exchange and in building bridges of understanding between the people of the United States and Pakistan,” Dr. Ahmad, IIU Principal Coordinator of the Partnership Program commented in a university press release.
The State Department initiated the grant program linking Pakistani universities with US institutions in 2012, under the Fulbright-Hays act, with the mission to promote mutual understanding through educational and cultural exchanges between American citizens and citizens of other countries.