Syrian scholars need help

October 4, 2012

The crisis in Syria has created an academic emergency, with the breakdown of higher education within the country and major obstacles facing Syrian scholars and students.

In response, the Institute of International Education announced last week at the annual Clinton Global Initiative and at the United Nations that it will lead a "Commitment to Action" to mobilise emergency support for Syrian scholars and students.

We request that all higher education institutions around the world consider joining a consortium to support Syrian higher education in this moment of crisis by providing scholarships (full or partial) or tuition waivers to Syrian students and by offering to host scholars from Syria with financial support from the Scholar Rescue Fund.

The IIE and its Scholar Rescue Fund would be grateful if you and your colleagues would help to spread the word to interested colleagues or connect us with other universities, organisations or individuals who might join in this important effort.

In addition, we would encourage you to refer to us Syrian professors, researchers or public intellectuals who are facing threats to their lives and/or academic careers.

The IIE is assuming a leadership role in responding to the higher education crisis in Syria, and the Scholar Rescue Fund is making important contributions to assist a number of threatened Syrian scholars.

Together, the international higher education community can unite to support Syrian scholars and students at this critical time. There is much to do, and we hope you will join us in this urgent endeavour.

Allan Goodman, President and chief executive, Institute of International Education

Jim Miller, Executive director, Scholar Rescue Fund

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