Pathways for Promise

Pathways for Promise

Pathways for Promise

When I first started at AUW, I felt nervous because I thought my English was not good enough. However, I quickly made friends and my teachers were very friendly and supportive. I feel much more confident now, and I believe the opportunity to come to AUW has been the greatest gift of my entire life.
– Chuma Chakma | Pathways for Promise alumna

Pathways for Promise aims to identify and educate highly talented women from underserved communities. AUW acknowledges that circumstance is not an indicator of potential, and therefore has established Pathways for Promise as a flexible preparatory program with the ability to sufficiently equip any woman for undergraduate education. In Pathways for Promise, women who have not previously had access to high-quality English-language or mathematics training are able to enjoy an additional year of pre-university preparation in advance of the one-year Access Academy and three-year Undergraduate Program.

Students who have great potential but limited opportunity to pursue higher education are ideal candidates for Pathways for Promise. All Pathways for Promise students are first in their family to enter university, and otherwise represent difficult backgrounds, including:

  • Daughters of microfinance borrowers;
  • Historically neglected ethnic minorities;
  • Ready-made garment factory workers;
  • Tea estate workers;
  • Refugees and internally displaced persons; and
  • Women from poorer socio-economic strata.

Through Pathways for Promise, AUW aims to help prepare women from the most oppressed communities that suffer from inadequate secondary education facilities to prepare for entry into AUW through up two years of preparatory course work on campus.

Pathways for Promise is only offered to those who are invited under a sponsored program. Organizations that are interested to learn more about Pathways for Promise or nominate an applicant may also contact the AUW Office of Admissions.


Pathways for Promise teaches students to communicate in English effectively and confidently through interactive teaching methods and an active curriculum. The program:

  • Focuses on English-language acquisition;
  • Is taught by the best local and international instructors from Canada, UK, and USA;
  • Offers additional training in mathematics, computing, martial arts, classical dance, and leadership;
  • Requires approximately 20 hours of class time per week;
  • Offers structured independent reading time, group study sessions, and peer and professional mentorship;
  • Offers opportunities for community service and extracurricular activities.

These qualities unite to provide a pathway toward holistic development and preparation for Access Academy. For a detailed overview of the Pathways for Promise curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment methodology, please review the AUW Pathways For Promise Brochure and the AUW Academic Bulletin.

Recent News Coverage of Pathways for Promise:

Dresses to degrees: university opens its doors to Bangladesh garment workers (The Guardian)

Fashion’s deadliest disaster prompts Bangladeshi workers to opt for university (Reuters)

This University Is Helping Garment Workers Become Factory Owners (Glamour)