Update for Institutions
in Canada

February 20, 2015

Dear Institutional Partners,

We are writing today to provide you with important updates on the Libyan-North American Scholarship Program. As you may know, we currently have approximately 1,000 Libyan scholarship students attending institutions across Canada. The number of Libyan students in Canada has doubled over the past year with over 60% of the students attending ESL programs and preparing to find placement in undergraduate and graduate programs.

Since CBIE commenced management of the Scholarship Program, in January 2010, the Libyan Ministry of Higher Education has been fully committed to supporting these students to pursue their education in Canada, and their presence has enhanced diversity on campuses across the country.

We trust that the Libyan-North American Scholarship Program has been a positive and fruitful collaboration for your institution, but we certainly know that there have been challenges, dating back to the funding delays we experienced following the revolution in 2011. Currently, with Libya undergoing significant political dissonance, we are feeling the ripple effects here in Canada.

The Program has been experiencing delays in receiving several budgetary transfers, including the 2014/2015 tuition budget. In spite of these delays, we were able to process and pay the fall 2014 tuition invoices submitted by institutions in Canada. While all efforts are being made to expedite the transfer of funds, including key stakeholder meetings with the Libyan Embassy and Canadian government officials, the circumstances on the ground in Libya are regrettably contributing to further delays. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an exact timeline f0r fund transfers from Libya. We have limited funds to process tuition invoices for the Winter/Spring 2015 and would like to advise you that there will be some delays in processing these invoices, depending on when funds are received.

In light of the situation on the ground, several Canadian embassies are either delaying visa processing or terminating it altogether until funds begin to flow regularly.

In the meantime, however, for Libyan sponsored students who are currently in Canada, we seek the ongoing support and understanding of host institutions by further extending tuition payment deadlines. This will allow students who have been issued CBIE Financial Support Letters for Winter/Spring 2015 to maintain their current course registrations and immigration status.

Delays in receiving the annual tuition budget are coupled with delays in receiving the Monthly Living Allowance (MLA) budget for the January to March 2015 period, which means that students have not yet received their January or February 2015 scholarship stipends, which they use to pay for their essential needs. As such, many students are facing very stressful situations while also worrying about the political instability of their country and the safety and well-being of their family and friends back home. Any assistance that institutions can provide in directing students to support services on campus would be most appreciated.

We also want to take this opportunity to share with you links to recent articles which offer insights into the complex situation the country is facing. 

Only Libyans Can Save Libya: US Ambassador to Libya, Deborah K. Jones 
UN plans future Libya talks within country
Amnesty calls for UN sanctions, war crimes probe in Libya
Analysis: Diplomacy could curtail Libya humanitarian disaster
UN condemns attack on Libyan central bank, demands inquiry

We wish to express our deep gratitude to all of our host institutions for the support that you provide on a daily basis to sponsored Libyan students, and we look forward to ongoing cooperation in the months ahead.

As always, we will continue to keep institutions and students apprised of new developments, as soon as they become available.


Maryana Nikoula
Director, International Partnerships
Directrice, Partenariats internationaux