Middle East Scholars Program at LCC International University
LCC’s vision for developing the Middle East Scholars (MES) Program was to assist war-affected students from Syria and Iraq with an intensive English program (and supplemental support systems) on a safe campus, in order to help them transition to an English-speaking university in Canada or the US, or to remain at LCC to finish their studies. From Fall 2014 to Fall 2018 we made numerous trips to Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria to test our idea(s) and to build relationships with NGOs, churches, and United Nations agencies in order to ensure that each prospective student would come to us as the result of a referral from a trusted entity. We tested visa pathways, identified students, and visited with authorities. Our initiative met with enthusiastic responses because we were unique in offering university studies for war-affected youth.
Our hope is to truly be able to serve the students who do not otherwise have opportunities for education. The program is still at an early stage; the full vision of the program is much larger. We want to help the students to improve their English in order for them to continue their studies at LCC or in universities in Canada, the US, or Europe, so that they could study the subjects that most interest them. We hope that when it is safe for them to go back to their home countries, they will do so, and we hope that they will be the agents of future positive change in their own countries because their education has provided them the skills and wisdom and potential to do so.
LCC MES program is funded by the Development Cooperation and Democracy Promotion Programme.