USC will fund up to five graduate degrees and one undergraduate degree each year for Syrian refugees.
A number of USC schools have pledged to provide full-tuition scholarships for master’s degrees. The students, who must meet USC’s admissions standards, will have the opportunity to pursue master’s offered by the USC Price School for Public Policy, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. The university will also make available one full-tuition undergraduate scholarship in any undergraduate major to a deserving student, and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences will make available additional funding for PhD students. Students awarded these scholarships will begin arriving on campus in spring 2017.
“A university with the stature and profile of USC must ensure that students and scholars of all backgrounds are afforded the opportunity to be part of a culture of academic excellence,” said Elizabeth Graddy, vice provost of academic and faculty affairs. “Our participation in the IIE Syria Consortium speaks to our commitment to the public good and to our status as a global university by assisting those whose educations have been hindered by turmoil and warfare.”
The IIE Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis works to connect Syrian students who are unable to continue their education in their home country with universities around the world and provide funding until they can return home. USC is among the most prestigious of participating American universities, and its participation was supported by a resolution of the USC Graduate Student Government.
“The University of Southern California is proud to deepen our work with the Institute of International Education by joining the IIE Syria Consortium, furthering our contribution to one of the most pressing humanitarian issues around the world,” said Anthony Bailey, vice president for strategic and global initiatives at USC.
The announcement expands USC’s commitment to serving the global public good, protecting academic freedom and providing a safe haven for displaced scholars. The university is already a part of the Scholars at Risk Network and the Institute of International Education Scholar Rescue Fund, both of which support students and academics at risk of political persecution in their own countries.