PULLMAN, Wash. Funding has been restored for some 50 Libyan students attending Washington State University. School officials were notified Wednesday night that the Libyan Ministry of Education and Scientific Research has released funds to continue the Libyan-North American Scholarship Program.
Ongoing hostilities in Libya forced the U.N. to freeze Libyan assets, which included the funding that supports Libyan students and their families in the U.S. and Canada.
The funding will cover monthly living allowances, health insurance and tuition fees to the end of May 2012, for the benefit of Libyan scholars as well as their dependents.
“We have been working with our Libyan students since February to prepare them for these potential funding interruptions. This is welcome news for them,” said Chris Wuthrich, WSU dean of students. “This offers them 12 months of support that will afford them some time until, hopefully, this situation in Libya stabilizes.”
There have been a number of WSU and Pullman community efforts that grew in support of these students and their families. A university loan program had been established. A number of meetings and workshops were held by WSU to cover everything from housing to immigration. University counselors helped students and their families cope with these rapid changes.
At the same time, a dedicated group of inter-faith community volunteers established food drives that assisted students on a weekly basis.
WSU is informing the students that they will be receiving their June living stipend in the next 2-4 days. Funding for these students comes through the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), which administers the Libyan program that serves 2,500 college students studying in North America.
Washington State University is believed to have one of the largest Libyan student populations in North America.
A heartfelt thank you goes out to:
WSU’s Elizabeth Siler (who organized many of the food drives)
Associate Professor Robert Eddy WSU advisor for the Muslim Student Association
Rev. Kristine Zakarison and the Community Congregational United Church of Christ
Rev. Mary Beth Rivetti and the St. James Episcopal Church community
Dr. Beth Waddell, Community Congregational United Church of Christ
Islamic Center of the Palouse
Masjid Al Farouq Pullman Mosque
Pullman Area Buddhists
Pullman Foursquare Church
St. Thomas More Catholic Student Center
Seventh Day Adventist Fellowship
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Unitarian-Universalist Church of the Palouse
Jewish Community of the Palouse
Pullman High School Key Club
Trinity Lutheran Church
WSU Sustainable Farm