Scholarships for Students
According to the United Nations, “100 million individuals have been forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations.” Many of these individuals have lost their chances of obtaining a higher education. In particular, three universities are offering scholarships for students from war-torn countries.

HEC Paris

The HEC Foundation and HEC Paris created “HEC Imagine Fellows” in October 2021 — a scholarship program for students from war-torn countries. The two-year-long program helps students pursue a master’s degree in management. Adrien Nussenbaum, co-founder and joint-CEO of Mirakl and graduate of HEC Paris, funded “HEC Imagine Fellows.” HEC Paris greeted its first enrollment of students at the beginning of the 2022 academic year.

HEC Paris believes that promoting “diversity, intercultural comprehension and tolerance” between its students from different cultural backgrounds will create more peace in the world. For this reason, the scholarship program will choose successful applicants based not only on their academic excellence but also on their interest in intercultural understanding and peace.

During the academic course Business & Peace, students will examine the role that private businesses may play in helping to keep peace and stability in areas that have experienced violence or war. In Business for Peace & Development, applicants will explore how private businesses could collaborate with NGOs in post-conflict areas to “support integrated growth, climate, and biodiversity initiatives,” Bloomberg says.

In Public Policy & Social Responsibility, students will research the problems with child labor in underdeveloped and conflict-torn countries and propose ways to reduce its occurrence. HEC Paris has made it a priority to cover the yearly tuition of approximately 10 students from conflict-ridden countries.

Columbia University

Columbia University established Scholarship for Displaced Students as an attempt to assist foreign students who cannot finish their higher education studies due to conflict or other types of danger in their home countries. As a sign of Columbia’s support, the university will award these students “up to full tuition, housing and living assistance while pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees across all 19 Columbia schools and affiliates,” Columbia Global Centers reports.

Annually, the program will provide up to $6 million in funding to each cohort of around 30 students. Schools, the scholarship program and student organizations at Columbia will offer mentoring and assistance to these refugee students. The scholarship program has already helped 33 students from 19 nations to further their studies in 14 educational institutions. The scholarship has no age limitations but there are eligibility requirements.

University of Manchester

The University of Manchester Humanitarian Scholarships came about at the onset of the Russia-Ukraine war, but extends to “any international applicant who has been displaced because of armed conflict or is at serious risk of persecution or violence due to race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion,” its website says. As many as 20 refugee students will receive a fully funded scholarship. The university provided “10 undergraduate and 10 postgraduate-taught” positions in the initial year and covered tuition, living expenses and visas. The estimated annual operating cost of the scheme is £5 million.

People who are currently residing outside of the U.K. and those who have sought asylum in the U.K. are eligible to apply to the university. The program requirements are flexible. Apart from the University of Manchester Humanitarian Scholarships, the university also provides other scholarships as a part of its social responsibility agenda. For example, there are Equity and Merit Scholarships for sub-Saharan African students and Undergraduate Access Scholarships for “U.K. applicants who have been in care or estranged,” its website says.

Education should be accessible to everyone who is willing to learn and expand their knowledge and war or persecution should not limit this. For this reason, scholarships for students from war-torn countries are necessary and essential.

– Elizaveta Medvedkina
Photo: Flickr

GrapheneGraphene’s potential to eliminate poverty first arose in 2004 at the University of Manchester, when its benefits were discovered by Professors Andre Geim and Kostya Novolseov. In removing some flakes from a lump of bulk graphite via sticky tape, the scientists noticed that some of the flakes were much thinner than the others. As they continued to separate fragments, they isolated graphene for the very first time.

With a material that is 200 times stronger than steel, 1 million times thinner than human hair and also the world’s most conductive material, the possibilities for graphene production are near limitless. It is believed that graphene possesses the capability to provide clean drinking water for millions. Not only can graphene membranes effectively separate organic solvents from water, but they can also stop helium–the hardest gas to block. Such an ability is vital in the water purification process.

Such technology could help eliminate poverty and prove highly beneficial for developing nations who are currently lacking in access to water purification technology, as well as providing more efficient desalination plants. Graphene has the potential to filter impurities from drinking water and even convert seawater to drinking water.

Graphene also has the potential to dramatically increase the lifespan of a lithium ion battery. Devices, like phones and medical technology, could be charged quickly and hold their charge for much longer periods of time. These batteries would also be light enough to stitch into clothing for easy accessibility.

It has been established that there is great potential for graphene to revolutionize the way in which organizations and governments work to eliminate extreme poverty; however, it could also aid in environmental issues.

The National Graphene Institute at the University Manchester is currently collaborating with over 40 international companies to explore the possibilities of graphene’s potential in grid applications, as well as the storage of both solar and wind power.

As good as the product sounds, development is a problem: production is expensive and there is little research on the optimal methodology to create it.

Recently, the Spanish company Graphenea claimed to have developed three new batteries: one for electric bicycles, another designed for motorbikes and a third for stationary domestic storage. The company is already selling graphene in small quantities on their website. Although production is scheduled to begin this October, speculation still surrounds the industrial technique used to create the supposedly “cost-effective batteries.”

Regardless of claims regarding Graphenea’s ability to produce the material, graphene could one day revolutionize our society in more ways than one–how poverty is eliminated, the energy sector and how the environment is preserved.

Veronica Ung-Kono

Photo: Flickr