The coalition of partners will conduct research on Syrian refugee student and scholar needs in nearby countries and continue to build the IIE Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis by expanding membership to the Global Platform for Syrian Students. The expanded Consortium will provide 600 scholarships for Syrian students.
This partnership will provide IIE Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF) fellowships of $25,000 for up to fifteen threatened academics from Syria. IIE will also offer ten top-off grants of $7,500 for living expenses to Syrian students receiving Consortium scholarships. Kaplan will also provide $1,000,000 in on-line test prep courses to 500 Syrian students. Finally, via the Global Platform and Jusoor, provide additional programmatic activities, such as a peace-building and reconciliation program and a mentorship program for Consortium scholarship students.
IIE, Jusoor, Illinois Institute of Technology, Education-USA Syria, the Global Platform, and the UC Davis Human Rights Initiative will implement this commitment by having each organization focus on what they do best and join together in a synergistic way for maximum impact. IIE will give out SRF and top-off grants, provide access to free Kaplan courses, expand the Consortium, and serve as a 'matchmaker' between students and scholars needing help and universities offering it. Jusoor will advertise opportunities, provide mentorship, and mobilize support among the Syrian community. Illinois Institute of Technology will mentor Consortium universities and provide twenty scholarships to Syrian students. EducationUSA-Syria will assist Syrian students access Consortium scholarships in the U.S.
The Global Platform will coordinate scholarships and enlarge the Consortium by engaging other countries, universities, NGOs, and the private sector. UC Davis will conduct research on the higher education needs of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. Princess Besmah will provide analysis services, fundraising, interact with leadership in the Middle East on behalf of, and solicit support from Universities worldwide for scholarships for Syrian students.
IIE will renew scholarship opportunities with existing Consortium members and, by engaging the Global Platform, expand the Consortium to other countries. The commitment partners will work together to facilitate applications by Syrian students to Consortium scholarships, coordinating as necessary to provide additional support for travel and living expenses through existing grant funds or by raising additional funds. This work will continue throughout the winter and spring of 2014, with an overall goal of assisting a total of 600 Syrian students.
As Syrian students receive Consortium scholarships, the partners will also support them during their studies. This may include a special program coordinated by the Global Platform in peace-building and reconciliation, as well as a special program by Jusoor for mentoring Syrian students.
Throughout this period, IIE will also continue to provide Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF) fellowships to threatened Syrian scholars. This will include application vetting, presentation to SRF's Selection Committee, scholar selection, placement, and monitoring. SRF will also work with the Consortium to identify scholar placement among Consortium universities. The deliverable is SRF fellowships to at least fifteen senior Syrian scholars.
Similarly, the IIE will work with Kaplan to provide access to free, on-line test prep courses to 500 Syrian students.
Finally, UC Davis Human Rights Initiative will plan and implement research projects to assess the higher education needs of Syrian refugees and make policy recommendations.
The on-going crisis in Syria is having a devastating effect on young people and the education sector. With the break-down of higher education within the country, many schools and universities are closed and a significant number of students and scholars are outside of the country unable to access education or continue their academic work.
While humanitarian efforts continue, very few resources are directed at enabling Syrian students and scholars to continue education and academic work. The country needs students to continue their university education and scholars to continue their academic work so that, even in the midst of crisis, Syria is producing the leadership and knowledge necessary for a successful future. In particular, students and scholars with advanced degrees will drive innovation, lead dynamic economic growth, and provide breadth and depth required during a reconciliation and rebuilding process.