The University of Alberta was recognized in New York City this morning with the prestigious Institute of International Education (IIE) Beacon Award in honour of efforts in providing a safe haven for international scholars facing threats in their home country.
IIE also presented Canada with an award for its leading role in the effort to save scholars from targeted persecution and conflict. At the event, IIE-SRF Chairman Mark A. Angelson presented the 2018 "Henry G. Jarecki Award" to Canada for the important role it has played as a safe haven country, to recognize its work rescuing scholars threatened by conflict in countries such as Yemen and Syria, or by political turmoil in Zimbabwe.
UAlberta has welcomed four, and soon to be five, scholars through collaborative work with the IIE Scholar Rescue Fund. The purpose of this program is to provide a safe place for scholars who live in war zones to continue their academic careers an an environment free of political turmoil, war, and other security threats.
“The University of Alberta is honoured to receive the Beacon Award. We are proud to partner with IIE and with support from the Scholar Rescue Fund, we were able to help global scholars who suffer from the impacts of war, political oppression or discrimination,” said University of Alberta President Dr. David H. Turpin. “We are strongly committed to working with universities across Canada to create new opportunities for these scholars and students to continue their personal and academic pursuits and to allow them, in safety and security, to share their ideas, scholarship, and discoveries to the benefit of all.”
Britta Baron, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President (International), was present at the IIE-SRF Forum to accept the Beacon Award for UAlberta.
"It is upsetting to see the growing number of countries and regions where scholars and students are risking their lives, health and personal integrity as they are exposed to war, political unrest, societal oppression, and other threats," says Baron, who views scholar rescue as a key aspect of internationalization in higher education.
One university can only do so much, but as a global academic community we can make a huge difference. IIE has taken the lead for decades to orchestrate many contributions from universities in many different countries.
It has been a great pleasure to work with the passionate team of experts at IIE in New York and be a part of a strong support network working to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of scholars. University of Alberta International is experienced in welcoming students and scholars from all over the world at our university. We put these skills to excellent use for the visitors who come to us to seek shelter from the dramatic circumstances in their home countries. Over time, solidarity grows into friendship.
We share the excitement of our visitors and their families with every single step that they take towards a safer, happier, more fulfilling, and healthier life."