The QSAP program enables Afghan refugee and displaced students to continue their educational journeys in the United States.
The Qatar Scholarship for Afghans Project (QSAP) has welcomed nearly 100 new Afghan students to more than 40 U.S. campuses for the 2023-2024 academic year. These students join the initial cohort of students and graduates who have been arriving in the U.S. since September 2022 when the program launched. QSAP has now supported over 200 students to begin their higher education in the U.S.
The students are enrolled at more than 40 U.S. colleges and universities across 23 states, including Bard College, University of Kentucky, Cornell University, Rutgers University, University of Texas at Austin and more. They are studying a wide range of programs and majors, including law, human rights, political science, business, computer science, mathematics, music, and studio art.
Since the program launched in 2022, six Afghan refugee students have graduated from the program. To date, they have been awarded prestigious fellowships, including the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Student Program and the Schwarzman Scholars Program, or will pursue master’s degrees at Columbia University and The University of Chicago, among others.
“As this crisis in Afghanistan continues to evolve, supporting Afghan students’ right to education is more important than ever,” said Yalda Hakim, Co-Founder of the Afghan Future Fund. “All of the partner organizations supporting QSAP are rooted in common values and commitments to international education and working together to provide access to education to Afghanistan’s displaced young people.”
“When hundreds of Afghanistan's university students found their education abruptly halted, we stepped in with unwavering support. Two years post-crisis, we radiate pride in seeing nearly 100 of these students embrace new horizons. The Qatar Scholarship for Afghans Project not only gives them a second chance but also the opportunity to continue their education at esteemed colleges and universities outside Afghanistan.” said, Talal Alhothal, Director of the Al Fakhoora Programme, Education Above All Foundation.
“The refugee students we are supporting in QSAP bring great assets and human capital to the U.S. universities and communities that welcome them. They thrive when given the opportunity to continue their education and, ultimately, the whole world benefits,” shared Allan Goodman, CEO, Institute of International Education.
USA for UNHCR estimates that more than 1.6 million Afghans have fled the country since 2021, bringing the total number of Afghans in neighboring countries to 8.2 million - accounting for one of the largest protracted refugee situations in the world. The collaboration between the Afghan Future Fund (AFF), Schmidt Futures, Education Above All, the Yalda Hakim Foundation, the Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD) and the Institute of International Education (IIE) is making it possible for 250 of these young refugees to safely pursue higher education. For young Afghan women, who make up half of QSAP’s cohort, the program offers a path to a future that is no longer possible in Afghanistan.
By combining the energy, resources, and networks of a diverse group of advocates for international education, the Qatar Scholarship for Afghans Project demonstrates the power of global cooperation to protect access to education in the face of conflict and crisis.