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UW Global Engagement Office Collaborates to Bring Educator for Scholastic Residency

October 1, 2021

The University of Wyoming’s Global Engagement Office is collaborating with an international organization to raise money to bring a scholar from Afghanistan for a yearlong residence at UW.

UW has joined with the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF) to raise the necessary funds. IIE-SRF provides $25,000 in matching funds, while institutions of higher learning, such as UW, raise the same amount to cover the cost of sponsoring one scholar for a yearlong visiting position.

“We are joining a global campaign to assist academics and artists whose lives have been endangered and uprooted by the current Taliban takeover,” says Isadora Helfgott, vice provost for global engagement in the UW Office of Academic Affairs.

Helfgott says a scholar could be on campus as early as next semester.

An account has been set up through the UW Foundation’s crowdfunding portal. To donate, click here.

The IIE-SRF Alliance launched in August 2020 to expand its efforts and partner institutions to assist the unprecedented number of threatened and displaced scholars globally. It builds upon IIE’s 100 years of providing resources and support to vulnerable professors and university students, including academics who faced Nazism and fascism; Black South Africans being denied educational opportunities under apartheid; and hundreds of scholars who are continually threatened by conflict and repression today.

UW joins a network of hundreds of individuals, institutions and organizations spanning nearly 30 countries and multiple sectors in the project. The IIE-SRF Alliance’s partners host IIE-SRF fellows; provide a safe haven and temporary academic positions; give access to training or courses, free or discounted memberships and other critical support; and provide ambassadors who share their time, skills and networks to empower the scholars to rebuild their lives and careers.

“In many contexts across the globe, our colleagues face threats to their lives and careers. Though academics have always been persecuted for their scholarly work and are among the first to be targeted during conflict and instability, the magnitude of the current crisis is unprecedented in IIE’s history,” says Allan Goodman, IIE’s president and CEO. “We are extremely grateful to the University of Wyoming for taking this concrete step to support scholars in need."

If logistics preclude bringing a scholar from Afghanistan to UW, the money raised will be used to bring a displaced/endangered scholar from another country or to support an emergency fund for UW international students.

About IIE

Established in 1919, IIE is a global not-for-profit organization that creates and implements international education programs, conducts research and provides life-changing opportunities for students and scholars worldwide.

About the IIE Scholar Rescue Fund

The Scholar Rescue Fund is the only global program that arranges and funds fellowships for threatened and displaced scholars at collaborating higher education institutions worldwide. Since 2002, IIE-SRF has provided life-saving support to more than 900 scholars from 60 countries, collaborating with 429 host institutions in 50 countries around the world.

For more information, email Helfgott at ihelfgot@uwyo.edu.

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