Monday, May 20, 2024
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US Colleges, Higher Ed Groups Increase Afghan Support Efforts


More US colleges and higher education organizations have stepped up to provide displaced Afghan refugees with educational opportunities after the sudden Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. 

The capital, Kabul, fell into the hands of the Taliban on August 15, signaling the demise of the Afghan government. People have been rushing to flee the country in fear of the future under the group’s control, including restrictions on education and other human rights.

Forbes reported that a growing number of American academic institutions have pledged funds, infrastructure, and other resources to help Afghan students and researchers through this crisis. 

University-Led Programs

The University of Tulsa announced its Afghan Refugee Scholarship, covering the total cost of attendance of qualified applicants for up to four years. The University of the People followed suit a week later, announcing that it will offer 1,000 scholarships for Afghan women who want to earn a bachelor’s degree.

The Human Rights Center and the Afghan Student Association at the University of California, Berkeley have joined forces with San Jose State University to start an emergency crowdfunding campaign to support Afghan families facing immediate risk. The cause hopes to collect $250,000 by September 15.

The University of California, Davis is also doing its part by providing a cloud-based system for Afghans to store and preserve academic records and other credentials that they fear could incriminate them. 

Goddard College in Vermont, Northern Virginia Community College, and Bard College in New York have opened their dormitories, gymnasiums, and other facilities as possible options for temporary refugee accommodation. 

Goodwin University and the University of Bridgeport confirmed their support for the cause by providing housing, communication assistance, and work and career programs. 

Additional Support

Several academic organizations have also pledged to assist displaced Afghans.

The American Council on Education has promised to work with the Department of State and Congress to allow Afghan scholars “to join the millions of international students and scholars who have contributed to the cultural and intellectual vibrancy of our campuses and to our national economic prosperity.”

The Institute of International Education (IIE) has also created both the IIE Afghanistan Crisis Response and Artist Protect Fund to supply financial aid to international students and scholars whose home countries are locked in turmoil.

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