Barbara Hou’s mother worked three jobs to provide her with the benefits of a great education and the opportunities that allowed her to become a successful corporate attorney. She points to her mom, and other inspirational women that did not have the same options, when making her case for the Asian Women’s Leadership University, a pan-Asian, English language liberal arts institute in Malaysia, and Hou’s passion project modeled after the Seven Sister colleges, and the first of its kind in the country.
As the president and founder of the AWLU, Hou’s goal is to empower Asian women through education, and build a future group of women leaders by preparing AWLU graduates to make a meaningful impact in the development of their respective countries.
This year, Hou hopes to obtain official approval from the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education for a university-status license for the AWLU. She’s also hard at work raising the $8 million in seed capital required to open the university by 2015.
“We should hear back on the university status license after the spring elections in Malaysia,” Hou says. “That would then kick off the official ‘Open Doors’ fundraising campaign to raise the $8 million.”
The AWLU will be welcoming an inaugural class of 100 students in 2015.
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