Syrian youth who are currently residing in Syria face challenges in accessing significant opportunities that allow them to be agents of change in society, and as a result, this hinders their pursuit of higher education. The barriers faced not only fall under financial constraints or lack of access to quality education, but also the pathway to prestigious international programs and higher education might seem elusive and hard to achieve for students in Syria. And therefore how can Syrian youth become more aware of and actualize the potential that they can receive a world-class education outside of Syria?
The Jusoor-UWC Scholarship addresses the challenge of limited educational opportunities for high-achieving, low-income Syrian students and focuses on the possibility of reviving hope and potential in these young brilliant minds. Since 2016, Jusoor has funded partial scholarships for students to attend United World Colleges globally. Jusoor works with the UWC Syria National Committee to select the most promising and motivated candidates.
What is UWC?
United World Colleges (UWC) is a not-for-profit global education movement offering pre-university education to a deliberate diversity of young people selected from over 155 countries to attend one of the 18 UWC schools around the world. The IB mission states that “The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.” UWC Schools are known at top universities around the world for their emphasis on service, communication, teamwork, leadership, and critical thinking. ibo.org
Program Benefits for Students
The UWC schools are responsible for delivering the dynamic two-year International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). Students on UWC scholarships receive pre-arrival support (including visas and travel), tuition, room and board coverage, participation in extracurricular and co-curricular programs, pastoral care (safeguarding students’ safety and well-being), and guidance on university applications.
Jusoor provides partial grants of USD 10,000 for Syrian students to fund their additional expenses during the two years of their IBDP. The scholarship covers expenses such as travel, some living costs, clothing, stationary, university application fees, legal paperwork, and standardized testing and is awarded to scholars who have received full tuition, and room and board funding from a UWC school.
In addition, United World Schools is an incredible place posing an opportunity for students to discover themselves, their strengths, weaknesses, and what matters to them. It encourages them to start their independent life and learn how to become adults, make decisions, and grasp the responsibility that comes with every decision. According to UWC, students choose to pursue UWC for the following:
- Inclusive and Supportive Community: UWC has a unique and diverse community fostering challenge and support, and that is why students are selected based on character, compassion, and potential.
- Engagement with Global Issues: UWC goes beyond knowledge acquisition to practical application as students are encouraged to address issues that matter to them and their communities, and build skills to make a difference and gain confidence to take action. And so UWC experience instills a sense of purpose and impact.
- Holistic Learning Through Action: the IB consists of a holistic approach for students to reach academic excellence alongside community engagement projects, physical activities, dialogues, discussions, outdoor trips, and personal projects. In addition to opportunities to discover one's true self beyond academic achievements.
- Cultural Understanding and Global Perspectives: Students always mention how the school communities comprise individuals from diverse nationalities, backgrounds, and world views, which expands their global understanding.
- Respected Qualification for Future Paths: The IBDP is highly respected by universities globally and could support students in receiving funded tuition from Ivy League universities.
Impact so far
- Thus far, Jusoor has supported 11 scholars attending UWCs in Bosnia, Canada, India, Italy, and Tanzania.
- In 2022, Jusoor committed to funding a full all-inclusive scholarship at UWC Mostar for one Syrian student which was matched by a full scholarship to another Syrian student under the Dare to Dream Programme of UWC.
- The impact can be seen within our alumni. Jusoor-UWC Mahindra Alumnus, Ibrahim Alkassar, did a summer internship with Jusoor’s Scholarships Program in 2023. Ibrahim was awarded a full scholarship for his undergraduate study by the University of Richmond in the US.
- Raheem Kaddour, another Jusoor-UWC Manhindra alumnus was awarded a full scholarship to pursue undergraduate study at College of the Atlantic in the US.
“The UWC experience is a transformative journey that is going far beyond my expectations. At Pearson College UWC, I made friends from all around the globe, enriching my knowledge and broadening my understanding. The education, knowledge, friendships, and activities are all so precious to me! “ - Tala Khodre, IB Scholar 25’, UWC Pearson, Canada