May 24 (GIN)-The impend- ing closure of the African Stud- ies Centre at the University of Cape Town the flagship center on the continent and news that the London Africa Centre is due for the same, together comprise a tremendous loss for Africa-based scholarship.

To top it off, a recent post on the U.S. Department of Education’s website quietly noted that the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dis- sertation Research Abroad pro- gram has been cancelled for 2011.

Ph.D. candidate Maura Cunningham responded with regret on her blog: “It worries me- even frightens me-that with this action the U.S. government is signaling its lack of commit- ment to education and forging bonds with communities abroad. Programs like the Fulbright- Hays grants aren’t just about supporting individual scholars; they promote work that helps all of us contextualize the world we live in and recognize how it has come to look the way it does.

“By not providing the fund- ing necessary to support this year’s applicants,” she continued, “the government is implying that such work isn’t important, that we can exist in a global community but don’t need to understand it.”

In what may be one of its last awards, the Fulbright-Hays Program tapped Judith Corbett Carter, assistant professor in the SEEK Program at Brooklyn College in New York City, to join 16 educators travelling to North Af- rica to study religious diversity.