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The crisis in Syria has resulted in the breakdown of higher education in the country, with several campus closures and disruptions, but also serious difficulties for Syrian students and scholars who are studying or working abroad. However, resources or coordinated programmes to support Syrian higher education students and scholars, both within Syria and outside the country, are scarce.
The Institute of International Education (IIE), an ACA member, is currently leading a consortium of over 30 higher education institutions and other organisations that have committed to provide emergency support for Syrian students and scholars – The IIE Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis. This consortium is part of a partnership announced in September 2012 among IIE, the Syrian organisation Jusoor and the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT).
The three organisations committed a total of USD 2 million (EUR 1.5 million), and aim to reach USD 5 million (EUR 3.75 million). The consortium is composed of members from the United States, Canada, France, Hungary, Mexico and the United Kingdom. The participating universities have agreed to provide scholarships for Syrian students and serve as host campuses for Syrian professors and senior scholars.
Last December, the IIE, Jusoor and the IIT have launched an online portal to help Syrian individuals in need of educational assistance to search for scholarships and to apply directly to the participating universities.IIE – Consortium IIE – Syria Scholarships Portal