Persecuted Scholars Placed at German Universities

Scholar Rescue Fund and German State Ministry Place Syrian and Iranian Professors in Germany

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, February 8, 2016—Three universities in the German state of Baden-Württemberg have offered visiting academic positions to three Institute of International Education Scholar Rescue Fund (IIE-SRF) scholars affected by the January 27th executive order prohibiting nationals from seven majority Muslim countries from entering the United States. The Universities of Heidelberg, Stuttgart, and Tubingen responded to IIE-SRF’s urgent appeals to support these three distinguished professors, creating visiting academic appointments in their respective faculties.

The three scholars, who face threats to their academic freedom and personal security in their home countries, were due to take up prestigious visiting academic positions as IIE-SRF Fellows at three leading institutions in the U.S.  Each of the three U.S. institutions had arranged support to match the IIE-SRF fellowship for one-year, renewable academic positions. Having lost the opportunity to host these scholars, all three institutions have opened their doors to other IIE-SRF fellows and have pledged their commitments to host future IIE-SRF fellows.

Working closely with each German university and the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Arts, and Research, the IIE Scholar Rescue Fund will support each scholar in Germany, providing advice and guidance in the lead-up to the scholars’ arrival and throughout their fellowship terms. Financial support for the three IIE-SRF fellows will be funded fifty percent by the IIE-SRF fellowship and fifty percent by a joint fund of the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung and the Max Jarecki Heidelberg Foundation. Under Minister Theresia Bauer’s leadership, universities across Baden- Württemberg have offered support to threatened scholars and will prioritize invitations to those in most urgent need.

In a joint statement, IIE President and CEO Dr. Allan E. Goodman and Mark A. Angelson, Chairman of IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund, expressed thanks for the prompt and generous response by the Ministry and the three Baden-Württemberg universities. Reflecting on IIE’s own history, they noted that “IIE has been rescuing scholars under threat since soon after its founding in 1919. IIE’s archives are full of stories that speak to the incredible goodwill extended to scholars and students threatened by some of the cruelest moments in history.  The coordinated commitments of the Ministry, Baden-Württemberg’s renowned universities, and the IIE-Scholar Rescue Fund speak far louder than home country threats. Our joint efforts will allow the voices of these courageous and world-class scholars to transcend the destructive forces fueling conflict, repression, and fear in their home countries.” 


About the Institute of International Education Scholar Rescue Fund (IIE-SRF)

The Institute of International Education (IIE), an independent not-for-profit organization, has participated in the rescue of persecuted scholars since its founding in 1919. In 2002, IIE launched the Scholar Rescue Fund (IIE-SRF) to formalize its commitment to preserving the lives, voices, and ideas of scholars around the globe. IIE-SRF selects outstanding professors, researchers, and public intellectuals for fellowship support and arranges visiting academic positions with partnering institutions of higher learning and research. Our fellowships enable scholars to pursue their academic work in safety and to continue to share their knowledge with students, colleagues, and the community. If conditions in the scholars’ home countries improve, scholars may return after their fellowships to make meaningful contributions to their national academies and civil society. If safe return is not possible, scholars may use the fellowship period to identify longer-term opportunities. Since 2002, IIE-SRF has provided life-saving support to more than 680 scholars from 56 countries in partnership with over 350 host institutions in 42 countries around the world. 

As a 501(c)3 organization, IIE-SRF welcomes financial support from individuals, corporations, and foundations. For further information on making a contribution, please contact the Philanthropy Office at 646-572-8741.