SAN FRANCISCO and NEW YORK, September 14, 2016—Non-profits Jusoor and the Institute of International Education (IIE) have launched the “100 Syrian Women, 10,000 Syrian Lives” Scholarship Program for Syrian university women to resume their studies despite ongoing conflict in their home country. Implemented in partnership with the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and with support for educational advising from the EducationUSA global network of international student advising centers, the scholarships are expected to bring 100 Syrian women to study at U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities over the next four academic years.
Women’s education is disproportionately affected by war. Pre-war, men and women in Syria attended university in roughly equal numbers. However, Syrian men are three times more likely than women to resume their studies in exile. More than half of Syria’s university students were forced to terminate their studies as a result of the ongoing crisis in Syria. IIE and the University of California Davis estimate that between 100,000 and 200,000 Syrian youth are currently displaced from higher education. Funded by major donations from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the American Syrian Arab Cultural Association (ASACA), and supported by Educational Testing Service (ETS), the specialized program will help qualified Syrian female students reach their full potential, grow to become leaders, and play a crucial role in stabilizing the region in the future.
The first cohort of students consists of 18 Syrian female undergraduate and graduate students, studying in fields ranging from education and architecture to environmental engineering, politics, and biology. In the U.S., students will attend universities including Brown University, Harvard University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Northeastern University, New York University, Syracuse University, the University of New Mexico, and Valparaiso University. In Canada, participating institutions include Ryerson University, Wilfrid Laurier University – whose students are covering most of the costs through $4 donations per student per semester – and York University.
The goal of “100 Syrian Women, 10,000 Syrian Lives” is to leverage higher education and philanthropic partnerships to address common barriers to educating students during the crisis. Program partners identified areas of need such as gaps in connecting students with universities, poor access to information, and scarce funding – all of which this initiative seeks to remedy by partnering with donors and universities, and recruiting through Jusoor’s extensive network. In addition to receiving scholarships, recipients will benefit from career development and leadership workshops. The first mentorship gathering will take place in New York on October 8th and 9th.
“The 100 Syrian Women, 10,000 Syrian Lives Scholarship Program is grounded in the belief that investment in education contributes to capacity building for Syria and its peoples in the long run. These women have thrived despite challenging circumstances and demonstrated exemplary social service with leadership, academic excellence, and civic responsibility. We selected them because they have the potential to serve as global leaders,” says Maya Alkateb-Chami, Director of Jusoor.
“An investment in education is a long-term investment in peace,” said Allan Goodman, IIE’s President and CEO. “Empowering young women affected by the Syrian conflict is a key component of stabilizing not only Syria, but also the global community.”
IIE has a long history of providing emergency assistance to students and scholars facing threats and danger throughout the world. IIE’s partnership with Jusoor for the “100 Syrian Women, 10,000 Syrian Lives” Scholarship Program is the latest in their efforts to respond to the ongoing conﬂict in Syria, including their leadership of the IIE Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis, the IIE Emergency Student Fund, and the IIE Scholar Rescue Fund.
Jusoor was founded in 2011 as an organization that is focused on bringing together and engaging the global Syrian expatriate community in efforts that will help Syria and its people realize their full potential. Jusoor is working to link the 20 million Syrians outside of Syria with the 20 million Syrians inside Syria. Today, over 100,000 individuals from 40 countries are connected to us and engaged in our work. We have supported over 2,000 young people through our programs in the past four years – including over 300 university scholarship recipients and 2,500 children in primary schools in Lebanon. Our other programs focus on entrepreneurship and academic and career mentorship. www.jusoorsyria.com
About the Institute of International Education
The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the leader in providing international education strategies and program services. Our international approach to education—diverse, borderless, impactful—is a proven way for governments and companies to invest in global talent and solidify overseas relationships. We work with policymakers, educators and employers across the globe to prepare students and professionals for the global workforce and equip them to solve the increasingly complex challenges facing our interconnected world. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide, including in New Delhi, and over 1,400 member institutions.