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WUNC's education coverage is led by reporters Dave Dewitt and Reema Khrais. Dewitt has been with the station since 2003. Khrais is focused on Education Policy Reporting. Browse recent stories here.

Duke, NC State Reverse The 'Rhodes'

NCSU students study an array of solar panels on top of the NSF FREEDM Systems Center.
Marc Hall
North Carolina State University

Duke and N.C. State Universities are among eight schools in the country now providing scholarships for British students to study engineering in the US.

The schools announced Wednesday they would start offering the Vest Scholarships next summer.  University administrators call the program the "Reverse Rhodes Scholarships." Rhodes scholars are Americans who spend time studying in the UK.  Dr. John Gilligan is senior associate dean of the N.C. State College of Engineering.  He says Vest scholars will work on what engineers call the list of Global Grand Challenges.

"They range from areas related to energy production and use to health care and use to security," Gilligan says. 

"So they're an attempt, and I think a good attempt, to bring to light the important problems that engineers solve on behalf of society for everyday use."

Gilligan expects the scholarships to be mutually beneficial for the U.S. and the U.K.

"Some of the areas identified for participation are making solar energy economical, and certainly that's important for North Carolina," he says.

"That will impact our state directly, I think, and also lead to a flow of graduate students from Britain and other places that want to work with us."

Gilligan says only a few students will likely kick off the program at N.C. State.  He and other engineers hope to provide scholarships to countries other than the UK and bring in more students as the program grows.

Will Michaels is WUNC's Weekend Host and Reporter.
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