Georgetown University: Offer 10 scholarships to Syrian students
We call on Georgetown University to provide at least 10 scholarships to Syrian students for upcoming classes. We also call on Georgetown to join the Syria Consortium and encourage other institutions to join by raising awareness about the plight of Syrian students. We also call on leaders of the international community to take action to protect school and students in Syria, by whatever means necessary.
In tallying up the casualties of Syria's protracted conflict--between tremendous loss of life, destruction and displacement--the pressing educational crisis facing millions of young Syrians may be the one most easily lost upon us. And, if left unaddressed, one that threatens to pose grave generational harm to Syrian society long after war in the country comes to an end.
To grasp the magnitude of the crisis, consider this: At least 25% of Syrian schools have been destoryed or are no longer used as schools. In the Aleppo, no more than 5% of children are enrolled in school, while four out of five refugee children in Lebanon do not have access to school at all.
While host countries and the UNHCR often try (with inadequate resources) to provide primary education to refugee children, young Syrian men and women trying to pursue higher education present a much more difficult challenge to solve. With language, logistical, and financial barriers to overcome, these students are often left unable to pursue a university education.
In an effort to address this particular issue, the International Institute of Education (IIE) created the Syria Consortium, aiming to bring together 40 universities committed to offering Syrian students and scholars a means to pursue their studies abroad. Making space and resources available to young Syrians is a practical way for universities to contribute meaningfully to the broader humanitarian effort directed towards the Syrian people. But additional university partners are desperately needed.
Central to Georgetown's identity as a Jesuit institution is its commitment to the values of service in the face of need, and promoting justice in the face of poverty and oppression. In so doing, the university strives not only to provide its students with a world-class education, but to also cultivate men and women in the service of others--particularly the most vulnerable and needy among us. Each year, in keeping with these values, Georgetown awards hundreds of need-based scholarships to its students.
We call upon Georgetown University, invoking its institutional commitment to the lofty values aforementioned, to join the Syria Consortium and commit to setting aside seats as well as scholarship funds that would enable displaced Syrian students to pursue their university studies.
As Georgetown students and faculty, in light of the university's stated mission, we feel strongly that we have a critical role to play in the wider effort to prevent a lost generation of young Syrians, and a duty to come to their aid in this time of need.