Scholar Rescue Fund

Press Release

Rescued Scholars receive ELS scholarships

ELS Educational Services has established a scholarship program to provide English language training to IIE SRF Scholars

Learn more about IIE's Scholar Rescue Fund

NEW YORK/PRINCETON, March 5, 2013—The Institute of International Education's Scholar Rescue Fund assists professors, researchers and public intellectuals who are at risk of imprisonment or physical harm due to war, terrorism, political repression, human rights violation, or issues of gender, religious belief or denial of the right to express their views. Since its inception in 2002, SRF has assisted nearly 500 scholars from 50 countries, placing them at nearly 300 safe haven universities in 40 countries around the world, so they can escape from the harassment, discrimination and repression they faced in their home countries. Now, ELS Educational Services has teamed up with SRF to provide generous scholarships for these scholars to obtain the English language proficiency they need to continue their academic work effectively at host partner institutions in the United States.

Most scholars in the United States have visiting fellowships to teach or continue their research. Since a majority of the rescued scholars do not speak English as their native language, ELS will provide full tuition scholarships to the SRF scholars and their spouses at any of the 63 ELS Language Centers across the United States. The ELS scholarship will play a key role in ensuring the scholars’ academic contributions to their host institutions while also helping them better navigate their new environment.

Dr. Allan Goodman, President and CEO of IIE, highlighted IIE’s longstanding commitment to academic freedom and the critical role this new scholarship will play in furthering IIE’s mission. “Since our founding in 1919, the Institute of International Education has worked to protect students and scholars in danger,” said Dr. Goodman. “We are very grateful to ELS for joining in our efforts to enable threatened scholars to continue their work by offering generous scholarships for English language instruction.”

ELS Educational Services has offices in 16 countries and is the leading provider of intensive English for Academic purposes with more than 57 ELS Language Centers on university campuses in the United States. Since its founding in Washington D.C. in 1961, ELS has helped tens of thousands of international students master English and university study skills in order to enter undergraduate and post graduate degree programs. Many of those students were sons and daughters of parents who found themselves on the wrong side of political changes in their home countries.

In light of the events of the “Arab Spring”, ELS offered unconditional support to students from the affected countries who were studying in the United States and were suddenly cut off from their families and without funds for study or for living expenses. Upon learning about IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund, ELS contacted IIE to offer English study scholarships for scholars to help them to rapidly master English in order to teach, conduct research and otherwise be successful in their transition to the U.S. and other places around the world.

“The IIE’s program is a humanitarian extension of sanctuary in support of the rights of equality, freedom of religion and free-speech, to which ELS is fully committed. ELS scholarships will be our contribution towards the successful transition of threatened scholars to their new roles, where they can continue to be productive in their research and teaching work in safety,” said Mark W. Harris, President and CEO of ELS.

Jim Miller, Executive Director of SRF, also noted: “The opportunity that ELS is providing to SRF scholars is an important tool that will help them to advance their scholarship and to communicate their academic expertise—as well as their experiences as threatened and persecuted scholars—to a broader audience.”


About the Institute of International Education

IIE is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad. IIE's Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education assists higher education institutions in developing and sustaining partnerships around the world. Some of its major initiatives include the International Academic Partnership Program (IAPP) and the IIE Global Partnership Service (GPS).

About IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund

The Scholar Rescue Fund provides fellowships for established scholars whose lives and work are threatened in their home countries. These fellowships permit professors, researchers and public intellectuals to find temporary refuge at universities, colleges and research centers anywhere in the world, enabling them to pursue their academic work in safety and to continue to share their knowledge with students, colleagues and the community. In its first 10 years, SRF has provided fellowships to nearly 500 remarkable scholars from 50 countries, including leading an effort of historic proportion to save the intellectual capital of Iraq. The Iraq Scholar Rescue Project has saved the lives and work of more than 265 of Iraq’s most senior and threatened academics in a wide range of academic disciplines through temporary academic positions at universities, colleges and other institutions of higher learning in the Middle East and North African regions.

About ELS

ELS Educational Services offers over 50 years of expertise in assisting international students—more than 1,100,000 to date—achieve their personal and professional goals through English preparation and professional counseling. ELS assists international students identify and gain entry to higher education institutions in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe. ELS has the largest network of campus-based English language instruction centers in the world (ELS Language Centers), offering 69 study locations in the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, China and Malaysia with the majority of locations on university campuses. Fourteen additional English language instruction centers are located throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, Oman, Panamá, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. More than 650 universities worldwide accept completion of an advanced ELS level (Intensive English Program) as proof of English proficiency, thereby meeting the English language proficiency requirement for admission. ELS annually facilitates enrollment of thousands of international students into degree programs, thus expanding their future possibilities.

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