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After the Bombs

By Elisabeth Pain

Science Careers interviewed an IIE-SRF fellow of computer science from Syria. The scholar describes her career before the war in Syria, the escalation of the conflict around her, her decision to leave the country, and IIE-SRF’s role in helping her revive her academic career. She also addresses the special challenges that scholars face professionally when escaping violence in their home countries, commenting that they “need opportunities to rebuild their personal and professional lives.”

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The Refugee Crisis and Higher Ed

By Elizabeth Redden

Of the more than four million Syrian refugees in the Middle East and North Africa, the Institute of International Education (IIE) estimates that as many as 450,000 are 18-22 years old. Of that group, it assumes based on prewar enrollment rates that 90,000 to 110,000 are qualified for university. More than four years into Syria's civil war, the number of displaced would-be university students may well be even higher.

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American Universities Offer Opportunities for Syrian Students, but Resources Are Drying Up

By Rebecca Prinster

The war has led to a breakdown of Syria’s educational system, and American scholars worry about the effect on the country’s future. In a joint report by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the University of California (UC), Davis, titled We Will Stop Here and Go No Further: Syrian University Students and Scholars in Turkey, the authors caution that if “successive age-cadres of Syrians are unable to continue their education, Syria will lose its future doctors, teachers, engineers, and university professionals.”

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Lost generation looms as refugees miss university

By Declan Butler

Human-rights organizations are calling on universities and governments worldwide to invest more in the education of the hundreds of thousands of student refugees who are fleeing war-torn regions of the Middle East. They warn that the countries in conflict risk losing a future generation of scientists, engineers, physicians, teachers and leaders — and that university-aged refugees who have found shelter elsewhere represent a crucial opportunity to reverse some of the lost intellectual capital.

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A Novel Approach to Getting Syrian Students Into Universities

By Benjamin Plackett

In Lebanon, the Lebanese Association of Scientific Research has developed an innovative program for enrolling Syrian students at local universities. This “very pragmatic model,” according to IIE-SRF's James R. King, prioritizes students who are the most likely to graduate and finds ways to enroll them in such a way that benefits partner universities financially. 

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New Universities To Teach Syrian Refugees

By Benjamin Plackett

In Turkey, there are preliminary plans to establish three new universities for Syrian refugee students and scholars. The universities aim to enroll large numbers of Syrians and, in some cases, allow them to study and teach in their native Arabic. IIE-SRF's James R. King interviewed.

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Saving Scholars Who Become Victimized in the Middle East

By Chris Chaky

PassBlue, a project of the Ralph Bunch Institute at the CUNY Graduate Center, interviewed IIE-SRF Director Sarah Willcox for a feature on IIE-SRF’s response to growing threats to scholars in the Middle East in the wake of continued civil war. “For scholars, the fund is a way not only to continue pursuing research safely but to also work on research that they could not do otherwise because of restrictions in their home country. Amid all the upheavals in the world recently, the safety of scholars remains the fund’s fundamental mission.” With a steadily increasing number of applications from the MENA region, IIE-SRF’s attention has necessarily “moved from persecution and individual concerns of the scholar who speaks up because of his or her academic work, to a focus [on] responding to a conflict where hundreds or thousands of scholars may be affected by civil conflict.”

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Could Turkish elections affect Syrian refugee students?

By James King

Turkey’s 7 June elections sent shockwaves through the country and internationally. With the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, failing to win a majority of votes for the first time since 2002 and unable to form a single-party government, the elections have been described as a rebuff to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s domestic and international ambitions, including his plan to modify the Turkish constitution and transform the country into a presidential system similar to the United States.

Global fund needed for higher education in emergencies

By Brendan O'Malley

A global fund for higher education in emergencies should be established to enable alternative provision to be made during times of war and other disasters, participants at the British Council’s Going Global conference for leaders of international education were told on 2 June.

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Scholar Rescue Program Provides Academic Safe Haven on Campus

International Scholar Rescue Fund Publication Features Trinity as Model Host Partner

Hartford, CT, June 11, 2014 – Since 2008, Trinity has provided a safe haven for scholars suffering severe and targeted threats to their lives and/or careers because of their academic work in their home countries. These rescue scholars have been able to continue their academic work at Trinity in safety.

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