photo of the William T. Young library on the campus of the University of Kentucky, U.S.

Qatar Scholarship for Afghans Project (QSAP) Welcomes Nearly 100 New Refugee Students To U.S. College Campuses

The QSAP program enables Afghan refugee and displaced students to continue their educational journeys in the United States.

NEW YORK, November 16, 2023 — The Qatar Scholarship for Afghans Project (QSAP) has welcomed nearly 100 new Afghan students to more than 40 U.S. campuses for the 2023-2024 academic year. These students join the initial cohort of students and graduates who have been arriving in the U.S. since September 2022 when the program launched. QSAP has now supported over 200 students to begin their higher education in the U.S.

The students are enrolled at more than 40 U.S. colleges and universities across 23 states, including Bard College, University of Kentucky, Cornell University, Rutgers University, University of Texas at Austin and more. They are studying a wide range of programs and majors, including law, human rights, political science, business, computer science, mathematics, music, and studio art.

Since the program launched in 2022, six Afghan refugee students have graduated from the program. To date, they have been awarded prestigious fellowships, including the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Student Program and the Schwarzman Scholars Program, or will pursue master’s degrees at Columbia University and The University of Chicago, among others.

“As this crisis in Afghanistan continues to evolve, supporting Afghan students’ right to education is more important than ever,” said Yalda Hakim, Co-Founder of the Afghan Future Fund. “All of the partner organizations supporting QSAP are rooted in common values and commitments to international education and working together to provide access to education to Afghanistan’s displaced young people.”

“When hundreds of Afghanistan’s university students found their education abruptly halted, we stepped in with unwavering support. Two years post-crisis, we radiate pride in seeing nearly 100 of these students embrace new horizons. The Qatar Scholarship for Afghans Project not only gives them a second chance but also the opportunity to continue their education at esteemed colleges and universities outside Afghanistan.” said, Talal Alhothal, Director of the Al Fakhoora Programme, Education Above All Foundation.

“The refugee students we are supporting in QSAP bring great assets and human capital to the U.S. universities and communities that welcome them. They thrive when given the opportunity to continue their education and, ultimately, the whole world benefits,” shared Allan Goodman, CEO, Institute of International Education.

USA for UNHCR estimates that more than 1.6 million Afghans have fled the country since 2021, bringing the total number of Afghans in neighboring countries to 8.2 million – accounting for one of the largest protracted refugee situations in the world. The collaboration between the Afghan Future Fund (AFF), Schmidt Futures, Education Above All, the Yalda Hakim Foundation, the Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD) and the Institute of International Education (IIE) is making it possible for 250 of these young refugees to safely pursue higher education. For young Afghan women, who make up half of QSAP’s cohort, the program offers a path to a future that is no longer possible in Afghanistan.

By combining the energy, resources, and networks of a diverse group of advocates for international education, the Qatar Scholarship for Afghans Project demonstrates the power of global cooperation to protect access to education in the face of conflict and crisis.

To learn more about QSAP, our students, the partners and host institutions, visit

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About the Qatar Scholarship for Afghans Project (QSAP)

The Qatar Scholarship for Afghans Project (QSAP) gives Afghan refugee students the opportunity to continue their education at colleges and universities outside of Afghanistan, in partnership with multiple higher educational institutions. The program has placed 250 students at over 40 U.S. colleges and universities. The project is supported by the Afghan Future Fund (AFF), Education Above All Foundation (EAA), the Yalda Hakim Foundation (YHF), Schmidt Futures, Institute of International Education (IIE), and Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD). Learn more at

About Education Above All (EAA)

Education Above All (EAA) is a global education foundation established in 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. EAA aims to transform lives through education. EAA believes education is the single most effective means of reducing poverty, generating economic growth and creating peaceful and just societies thereby bringing hope and real opportunity to the lives of children, youth and women, especially those in poverty, conflict situations, and natural disasters. For more information, visit

About Afghan Future Fund

Schmidt Futures and the Yalda Hakim Foundation created the Afghan Future Fund to ensure that talented Afghans who were most at risk from Taliban leadership in Afghanistan – in particular prominent women leaders, Afghan students, journalists, civil society activists and entrepreneurs – have the opportunity to rise to their full potential, advance democracy and preserve their culture. The Afghan Future Fund is a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, a 501(c)(3) US public charity.

About Yalda Hakim Foundation

The Yalda Hakim Foundation (YHF) was established in 2018 by acclaimed international journalist Yalda Hakim to support the education, human capital development, and professional advancement of exceptionally talented young women from Afghanistan — in particular those from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds — through scholarships, internships, and mentoring. Learn more at

About Schmidt Futures

Schmidt Futures bets early on exceptional people making the world better. Founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative that brings talented people together in networks to prove out their ideas and solve hard problems in science and society. To learn more about our method and the diverse types of capital and tools that we deploy, visit

About Institute of International Education (IIE)

The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the leader in designing and implementing international education strategies and program services. We work with governments, 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. With support from donors, we also create initiatives that assist students, scholars, and artists whose lives and work are threatened; expand teaching and learning across cultures; and provide opportunities to underserved populations. Last year, IIE provided scholarships and support to more than 400 refugee and displaced students and fellowships to more than 240 threatened scholars and artists. A not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 16 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,600 higher education partners. Visit

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