programa Fulbright

Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation 2014


The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 by US Senator James William Fulbright. It is an educational exchange program sponsored by the US government designed with the aim of improving and strengthening ties and mutual understanding between US citizens and participants from around the world.

The program currently operates in over 150 countries (it began operating in Spain in 1958). It is run by the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, following the general guidelines established by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board -made up of twelve members chosen directly by the President of the United States- with the aid of bilateral commissions and foundations in 50 countries and more than 100 US embassies abroad in addition to other agencies on American soil. Funding for the program comes mainly from the US Congress, although it also receives financial support from public and private entities in the USA, as well as from the countries participating in the program.


During its more than 65 years of existence, what are popularly known as Fulbright scholarships have given students, researchers and teachers the opportunity to learn, research and teach and exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to challenges and interests of a global nature.

Students aspiring to enter the program each year are evaluated for both their academic merit and leadership potential. Over 300,000 students have participated in this academic program to date, approximately one third of whom are from the USA, the remainder belonging to the group of countries with exchange agreements. The program offers several options according to the academic level of participants, depending on whether they already hold a PhD or not. The Fulbright NEXUS Program is also worth highlighting. This is a network of young PhD holders, professionals and researchers from the USA and other Western countries who participate for a year in multidisciplinary research teams and in a series of meetings in the form of seminars that enable them to exchange experiences. The program likewise boasts an extensive network of student and alumni associations worldwide -around 70- whose main goal is to strengthen the relationship among and expand the contact network of all participants in the Fulbright scholarships, in addition to contributing to the integration of foreign scholars who visit these countries to further their studies.

The US administration grants 8,000 scholarships annually among the selected students. Throughout its history, more than 150 participants have been distinguished with Nobel, Pulitzer or MacArthur Foundation prizes. In addition, some Prince of Asturias Award Laureates, such as Richard Serra (Arts, 2010) and Muhammad Yunus (Concord, 1998), among others, have also participated in the Fulbright Program.

  • Javier SolanaFulbrighter in 1966

    "Spain and the USA belonged to different planets in the sixties. And those of us who made that "interplanetary" trip at the time were obviously marked -happily marked- forever by the experience.".Javier Solana

  • Pilar del CastilloFulbrighter in 1980

    "Economically speaking, it was not the best scholarship, it was even lower than others... but it has a very strong brand image... I notice that whenever I say I am a Fulbrighter".Pilar del Castillo

  • Joan GuinovartFulbrighter in 1974

    "The Fulbright scholarship was very important in pre-democratic Spain... it was a window onto the world, as this was a period when the European Union was remote and relations with specific countries were complicated by the dictatorship".Joan Guinovart

  • Federico García MolinerFulbrighter in 1961

    "When I got to the US, the differences with respect to Spanish society were abysmal. I always say that I underwent a seven-fold increase... in the size of my salary, the size of my house, facilities to do the job".Federico García Moliner

  • Joan MassaguéFulbrighter in 1979 and Prince of Asturias Award for Research in 2004

    "My experience is the same as that of thousands of beneficiaries of the Fulbright program who have been able to get to know different cultures, access new knowledge and establish bonds of friendship and professional relationships that contribute to mutual rapprochement via this program".Joan Massagué

  • Oliver E. WilliansonFulbrighter in 1999, Nobel Laureate in Economic Science 2009

    "Fulbright Program is a unique undertaking and is exceptionally successful in advancing worldwide scholarship and promoting understanding among nations"Oliver E. Willianson

Minutes of the Jury

At its meeting in Oviedo, the Jury for the 2014 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, composed of Pedro Alonso Fernández, Enrique Barón Crespo, José María Bergareche Busquet, Eugenia Bieto Caubet, Gloria Fernández-Lomana García, Enrique Fernández-Miranda y Lozana, Duke of Fernández-Miranda, Anna Ferrer, Diego Hidalgo Schnur, Jerónimo López Martínez, Ricardo Martí Fluxá, Jaime Montalvo Correa, Marcelino Oreja Aguirre, Marquis of Oreja, Francisco Pinto Balsemão, Alfonso de la Rosa Morena, Luis Sánchez-Merlo Ruiz, chaired by Gustavo Suárez Pertierra and with Alicia Castro Masaveu acting as secretary, has decided to confer the 2014 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation on the Fulbright Program for educational and cultural exchange for enhancing and strengthening links and mutual understanding between the world's citizens.

Established in 1946 by US Senator James William Fulbright, the Program is currently operating in over 150 countries and grants over 8,000 scholarships each year. The Program began operating in Spain in 1958 and has enabled a large number of students to access higher education of excellence in different universities and disciplines as a consequence of their academic and professional merit.

The Jury has prized the international nature of the Program, the will to improve the overall education of our young people by providing access to institutions of academic excellence, and the ability to engage civil society in each of the nations in which it is implanted.

This collective effort over more than half a century has resulted, among other things, in the creation of an extensive network of alumni who have contributed to the betterment of society, increasing collaboration and the exchange of ideas in a multicultural context.

Oviedo, 12th June 2014