Lack of access to higher education opportunities is a major issue affecting young refugees and displaced persons. Despite their clear potential, only 5% of refugees have access to higher education, compared to the global average among non-refugees at 39%.

With forced displacement rates nearly doubling over the past decade, and likely to grow due to climate change, it is increasingly vital that institutions build and broaden better education pathways to allow these talented students to succeed.

This is why the Institute of International Education (IIE) has launched and funded The IIE Odyssey Scholarship – a comprehensive scholarship package for student refugees and displaced individuals. The funding covers tuition, housing and living expenses for students pursuing four-year bachelor’s degrees or two-year master’s degrees, as well as advising services, community support and practical resources they may need along their journey. The goal is to enable students to learn, grow and prosper so one day they may return home and be catalysts for change.

“We’ve seen firsthand that when refugees and displaced students are given educational opportunities, they thrive. The Odyssey Scholarship will create a global network of talented future leaders who can change our world and their home communities for the better.”

Allan Goodman, CEO of IIE

Working directly with our refugee-serving partner organizations — who identify, vet and nominate potential scholarship recipients — IIE is able to quickly pair qualified students who have recently fled their homeland with the funding, care and support they need to flourish. We are proud of our close relationships with more than 1,000 universities and foundations that have helped empower us to meet the full financial needs of the students we support. 

“Real solutions require long-term commitment and support. We cannot allow for a lost generation among the refugee community.”

Jason Czyz, Co-President of IIE

IIE brings over 100 years of experience providing access to higher education for students in crisis. We have, and will continue to, work tirelessly to provide opportunities and solutions to students in need around the world.