Dear IIENetwork Members,
The crisis in Syria has created an academic emergency, with the break-down of higher education within the country and major obstacles facing Syrian students and scholars who are studying or teaching outside of Syria. Many university students are unable to attend classes and complete their degrees, due to continued violence and campus closures or disruptions. There is an urgent need to provide emergency assistance to these students and scholars to enable them to continue their academic work in safe haven countries until they can return home to help rebuild their country.
To invest in the future of Syria, the Institute of International Education, in collaboration with Jusoor, a newly established organization focused on engaging the global Syrian diaspora in the economic and social development of Syria, and Illinois Institute of Technology, announced this week at the annual Clinton Global Initiative that it will lead an initiative to provide emergency support to Syrian students and scholars. The three organizations together have committed a total of $2 million, and IIE is now seeking donors to provide additional financial resources for this critically important work, and universities to provide scholarships for students and serve as host campuses for scholars, with the goal of mobilizing a total of $5 million in support.
IIE, IIT and Jusoor will collaborate with the U.S. Department of State's EducationUSA network to help ensure Syrian students are aware of the opportunities that are available through this initiative. EducationUSA-Syria provides accurate, comprehensive and current information about U.S. higher education and guidance to qualified Syrian students to access opportunities for study in the United States.
Join the Commitment: A core component of our Commitment to Action is to build a consortium of universities and colleges around the world who will offer scholarships, tuition waivers or other forms of support to assist threatened Syrian students, with a goal of 50 new scholarships in the next year. IIE also calls upon colleges and universities to help provide emergency support to Syrian students already on their campuses who need assistance. And, we are seeking campuses who are able to be a host campus for threatened Syrian scholars who will receive fellowship support from IIE's Scholar Rescue Fund.
We encourage our member institutions to join this effort. Please complete the "Commitment to Action" form and submit to IIE by October 15.
For more information, to download the form, and to read a letter from IIE's President and CEO, Allan Goodman, urging higher education institutions to join this commitment, please go to www.iie.org/syria
About the Commitment to Action:
Effective immediately, the Institute of International Education is issuing the following calls:
- U.S. institutions who are willing to support Syrian students in continuing higher education and who are willing to provide scholarships or other forms of assistance can join the IIE Higher Education Consortium in Support of Syria, at www.iie.org/syria.
- Qualified scholars from Syria can apply now to IIE's Scholar Rescue Fund at www.iie.org/srf. And campuses that are able to host these scholars, with fellowship support from SRF, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Individuals and organizations who wish to provide support to this important effort can donate or request further information at www.iie.org/ESF.
- Donors can contribute to the IIT Syrian Scholarship Initiative http://give.iit.edu/ssi and to the Jusoor Scholarship Fund at http://www.jusoor-sy.org/programs/scholarship-fund/.
- Syrian students can apply to the Illinois Institute of Technology as part of the IIT Syrian Scholarship Initiative at http://admission.iit.edu/machform/view.php?id=103.
- U.S. colleges and universities that have Syrian students on campus with urgent financial need due to the escalating unrest in Syria can communicate with IIE about their level of need now, and will be able to nominate their students for IIE's Emergency Student Fund grants later this year (please email SyriaESF2012@iie.org).