Financial Update for Institutions 
in the United States

January 30th, 2015

Dear Institutional Partners,

Greetings from CBIE! We are writing today to provide you with some important updates on the Libyan-North American Scholarship Program. As you might know, we currently have approximately 1500 active Libyan scholarship students attending institutions in nearly every state in the U.S. Since the start of the Scholarship Program, the Libyan Ministry of Higher Education has been fully committed to supporting the sponsored students to pursue their education in the U.S., which has enhanced international student diversity on campuses throughout the United States. There are many successes to celebrate, including the graduation of over 250 Libyan sponsored students in the U.S. over the past year, with more who are on-track to complete their studies this Spring.

We trust that the Libyan Scholarship Program has been a positive and fruitful collaboration for your institution, but we certainly know there have been some challenges as well, dating back to the funding delays we experienced following the revolution in 2011. As is expected, with Libya undergoing significant challenges, we are feeling the ripple effect here in the U.S., most recently as it relates to the transfer of funds from Libya. We are therefore coming to you once again asking for your patience and understanding.

The delays we are experiencing in receiving funds from Libya directly impact our ability to process tuition invoices as of Fall 2014, as well as other scholarship benefits. While all efforts are being made to expedite the transfer of funds, including key-stakeholder meetings last week with the Libyan Embassy and our counterparts in the U.S. government, the circumstances on the ground in Libya are regrettably contributing to further delays. While we are confident that the transfer process is moving along, we are unable to provide an exact timeline when the funds will be transferred from Libya but estimate it may be 1-3 months before the 2014/2015 tuition budget is received by CBIE. Under the circumstances, CBIE does not currently have any available funds to process tuition invoices for the September 2014 – August 2015 academic year.

Understanding the dire situation, we’ve learned that many U.S. embassies abroad are now delaying issuance of new visas until funds are flowing more regularly. In the meantime, however, for Libyan sponsored students who are currently in the U.S., we are seeking the ongoing support and understanding from 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 loved-ones back home. Any assistance that institutions can provide in terms of directing students to support services on campus would be most appreciated.

We also want to take this opportunity to share with you with some links to recent articles on Libya, which are intended to provide you with some insight into the complex situation the country is facing at this time.

UN plans future Libya talks within country
Amnesty calls for UN sanctions, war crimes probe in Libya
Libya peace talks gain in urgency after Isis attack on Tripoli hotel
Analysis: Diplomacy could curtail Libya humanitarian disaster
UN condemns attack on Libyan central bank, demands inquiry
Libya oil production plummets as tribes fight to control field in south

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

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

The Libyan-North American Scholarship Program