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Asian University for Women (AUW) is an international, liberal arts university with the sole purpose of educating and empowering the future female leaders of Asia and the Middle East. AUW seeks to graduate women who will be skilled and innovative professionals, service-oriented leaders in the businesses and communities in which they will work and live, and promoters of intercultural understanding and sustainable human and economic development in Asia and throughout the world. AUW currently has 900 students enrolled from 18 countries, most of whom are first in their family to access higher education. 

AUW has implemented a Service-Learning program into the curriculum, motivated by University’s policy that all students must make at least five individuals literate by the time of their graduation. The Service-Learning program is comprised of three major civic engagement activities:

Community Learning Center

AUW has established a Community Learning Center to provide a space for AUW students to volunteer to teach basic lessons to local children—predominantly orphans, street children, and daughters of garments factory workers. Student volunteers are responsible for providing lessons on Basic English Language, Math, Science and Moral education in addition to conducting various awareness programs. Already faced with many challenges, these classes are a chance for local girls to improve their literacy, learn life skills, and even begin a new cycle of achievement for their families. In AY 2019-2020, 70 girls attended the Community Learning Center lessons, taught by 30 AUW student teachers.

Schooling for Local Garments Workers

AUW has organized a program whereby students volunteer to educate women who are currently working in nearby ready-made garments factories in Chittagong. AUW students regularly hold Reading and English-language classes with garments workers to improve their literacy and basic academic capacities. This education is beneficial to garments workers generally, but also opens the opportunity for them to apply to AUW through the University’s preparatory program, Pathways for Promise. In AY 2019-2020, 35 garments workers attended classes, taught by 15 AUW student teachers.

Ending Illiteracy on AUW’s Campus

The vast AUW community is comprised of students, faculty, and administrators, as well as service staff who often lack access to formal education. To help empower all of the AUW community, AUW students also participate in a program to teach English-language speaking and reading lessons to the cleaning staff at AUW.