International students enrolled in West Virginia University’s civil engineering program in Bahrain now have an opportunity to receive tuition assistance thanks to a gift from the Royal University for Women.
RUW, founded by four WVU alumni in 2006, is donating $83,000 to support scholarships for international students, specifically those enrolled in WVU’s civil engineering program in Bahrain. RUW officials say the gift also stands as a challenge to other international alumni of WVU to support the University.
WVU’s partnership with the Royal University for Women started in 2009, shortly after RUW opened with the goal of increasing women’s access to high-quality education in the Middle East. The founders, four brothers who graduated in the 1970s and 80s, looked toward their alma mater for a partnership focused on creating opportunity, developing cultural understanding, and advancing access to quality education.
“This gift is emblematic of the difference West Virginia University is making, and has made, around the world,” WVU President Gordon Gee said. “It comes at a crucial time as U.S. institutions are faced with challenges regarding the benefits of international involvement and recruitment. This will provide a pathway for more students to receive the West Virginia University education they desire.”
WVU’s partnership with RUW has been the cornerstone of its efforts in the Middle East and has positioned WVU as a leader in education in the region.
In September 2017, WVU enrolled its inaugural class for its civil engineering program taught in Bahrain, the University’s first degree program offered overseas. With the strong partnership between WVU and RUW, the co-ed program is hosted at the RUW, in a separate section of the campus.
The WVU-RUW Global Portal, part of WVU’s Office of Global Affairs, opened on the campus of RUW in October 2017. It connects WVU with industry, government, and educational partners in the Middle East, while helping to recruit talented students from the region to come to WVU. The WVU-RUW Global Portal also works closely with alumni in the region.
“We want to express our sincere gratitude to the Royal University of Women and its founders for this wonderful gift,” said B.J. Davisson, WVU Foundation executive vice president and chief development officer. “We hope it motivates other international alumni to give back to WVU.”