Columbia University has launched the world’s only ever university-wide scholarship for refugees and asylum seekers. The Scholarship was initially, aimed at helping Syrian Refugees. However, the program has now been extended to cater up to 30 students annually. Six million dollars have been allocated to the initiative which would cover tuition, housing and living cost.
Under the administration of the Columbia Global Centers, the program aims to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees across all 18 Columbia schools and affiliate institutions.
Commenting on the new development, the University President Lee C. Bollinger said, “the program sends a powerful message about the role that colleges and universities should be playing to help young people whose educations have been disrupted because they have been forced to flee violence and persecution in their home countries.”
Professor Bruce Usher found the scholarship program which was later adopted by Columbia’s School of General Studies, The Business School and the School of International and Public Affairs and Columbia College.
Since 2018 the program has outgrown the business school under executive vice president for global centres and global development, Safwan Masri.
Masri believes, “it’s a program that will have a real impact on the lives of talented people facing overwhelming obstacles by helping them gain access to one of the world’s great institutions of higher education.”
Foreign students from all around can apply to the program. However, the requirement is that they have to be either externally or internally displaced, and have a refugee status. The one who have either received asylum in the US or submitted an application for it can apply as well.