CHATTOGRAM, BANGLADESH – Media OutReach – 3 April 2023 – Asian University for Women (AUW) will convene a special ceremony on its campus in Chittagong on April 5 at 2:00 p.m. to confer a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Andrea Schenker-Wicki, President of Switzerland’s oldest university and one of the leading global research universities, the University of Basel. The ceremony will be presided over by Dr. Dipu Moni, Bangladesh’s Minister of Education and Chairman of the AUW Board of Trustees and Dr. Rubana Huq the Vice Chancellor of AUW. Bangladesh’s Information Minister Hon’ble Dr. Hasan Mahmud (who earned his PhD in Chemistry from Belgium) will speak as the Chief Guest in honoring Professor Schenker-Wicki. The AUW Choir will perform the national anthems of both Bangladesh and Switzerland to mark this special occasion.
AUW’s formal relationship with the University of Basel began in January 2022 when the University of Basel became the first and, so far, the only university to extend scholarships for Afghan students who were then being evacuated to AUW to overcome bans imposed on women’s education in Afghanistan. Today, AUW, with universities in Afghanistan closed to women, is the single-largest host of Afghan female university students with close to 500 students already enrolled and another 500 expected to join within the year. Recently, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh met with a group of Afghan students at the Bangladesh Parliament and declared her unequivocal support for AUW’s initiative in support of Afghan women’s education. “You are all welcome to Bangladesh,” the Prime Minister said to the five Afghan women from AUW who met with her. She reaffirmed her own belief that Islam calls for equal treatment of women and men and no opportunity given to a man should be denied to a woman. She indicated that she would no longer be quiet on this affront that denies women equal opportunity.
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Andrea Schenker-Wicki was educated at ETH Zurich; she earned a licentiate in Business Administration at the University of Zurich; and a doctorate degree in the University of Fribourg where her thesis focused on crisis management decision concepts as they related to countermeasures to reduce ingestion dose after an accidental release of radioactivity.
Her habilitation thesis examined performance measurements and performance indicators in the evaluation of the performance of universities. She is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna.
Prior to her appointment at Basel, she was a full professor in Business Administration at the University of Zurich where she also served as Vice Rector of Law and Economics.
She serves (or served) on numerous committees and boards across Europe including as President of the Advisory Board of the Swiss Center of Accreditation and Quality Assurance in Higher Education; and as a Member of the Austrian Science Board.
Professor Andrea Schenker-Wicki’s visit to AUW is particularly significant in light of AUW’s recent initiative to explore the establishment of a comprehensive medical college and hospital and the supporting life sciences education and research as Basel is the home of two of the largest pharmaceutical houses in the world – Novartis and Roche.
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About Asian University for Women (AUW):
Founded in 2008 and located in Chittagong, Bangladesh, AUW is the first of its kind: a regional institution dedicated to women’s education and leadership development through liberal arts and sciences education. It is international in outlook but rooted in the contexts and aspirations of the people of Asia. Chartered by the Parliament of Bangladesh, AUW exists solely to support a rising network of women leaders, entrepreneurs, and changemakers from across the region. It seeks out women who show significant academic achievement and potential, demonstrate courage and a sense of outrage at injustice, and are empathic to the woes of other people.
1345 students from 17 countries currently attend AUW: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Syria, Timor Leste, Vietnam, and Yemen. More than 85% of AUW students are on full or near-full scholarships funded by supporters from around the world. The University has graduated over a thousand students to date. A majority of AUW graduates secure employment in the private and public sectors in their home countries while about 25% go on to pursue graduate studies at other institutions of higher learning including Oxford, Cambridge, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Columbia, Duke, Brandeis and Tufts, among others. To learn more about Asian University for Women, please visit https://asian-university.org.
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