Jameel-Toyota Scholarship to Provide Enhanced Financial Support for Refugees

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Community Jameel have announced they will offer enhanced access to financial support for refugees and displaced persons seeking to study at MIT through updated terms of the Abdul Latif Jameel-Toyota Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Established in 1994 by Community Jameel, an independent, global organization founded by Mohammed Jameel ’78, the Jameel-Toyota Scholarship provides financial support to undergraduate students from Saudi Arabia and Japan and a range of countries across Africa and Asia, as well as Armenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in Europe. The scholarship is named to honor the long-standing relationship between the Jameel family and the Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan.

In the nearly three decades since its inception, the scholarship program has facilitated nearly 200 scholars from across the world to complete undergraduate studies at MIT. Under the new terms, aspiring students from these countries who self-identify as refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons, or having been otherwise forcibly displaced, have enhanced access to the scholarship’s support if admitted to MIT.

“This scholarship holds a special place in my family’s heart,” said Hassan Jameel, vice Chairman of community Jameel. “My father, Mohammed Jameel, the founder of Community Jameel, graduated from MIT and is a proud alumnus to this day. As an organization, we are committed to helping aspiring students realize their potential, particularly those facing financial obstacles. With global volatility disproportionately affecting refugees, we want to make sure that they have the same opportunities as other students around the world.”

Refugee education is a common area of focus for Community Jameel and MIT through the MIT Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab. The Transforming Refugee Education towards Excellence program, launched in 2019, addresses the mental health and educational needs of students and teachers in Jordan, including Syrian refugees. In collaboration with Save the Children, the Ministry of Education, Dubai Cares, and Hikma Pharmaceuticals, the program uses an innovative approach to teaching that embeds compassion in the classroom and is tackling trauma—especially among Syrian children—to improve learning outcomes.

“The expansion of the Jameel-Toyota Scholarship is tremendous news and in keeping with our commitment to increasing access to the life-changing opportunities an MIT education affords young scholars,” said MIT Chancellor Melissa Nobles. “We are grateful to Community Jameel for their enduring generosity and, along with the Toyota Motor Corporation, their indispensable commitment to our students. We look forward to helping more Jameel-Toyota Scholars further their education and pursue their passions at MIT so that they can go on to make a lasting, positive difference in the world.”

“We are delighted that Toyota has this opportunity to drive meaningful change in the lives of talented young students across the world, together with our trusted and respected partner, the Jameel family,” said Yumi Otsuka, operating officer and chief sustainability officer at Toyota Motor Corporation. “The expansion of the scholarship program to cover more countries and serve refugee students furthers its role in helping displaced families and disadvantaged communities achieve self-sufficiency and build a better future through durable solutions. The enhanced program also supports Toyota’s deep-rooted commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to create a better, safer, and healthier world for all. This comes as part of our continuing drive to promote diversity and human rights, helping communities achieve a sustainable future and ensuring that no one is left behind.”

Today, Community Jameel and MIT are allied through four major research centers at the Institute—the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, the MIT Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab, the MIT Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab, and the MIT Jameel Clinic—and over the years have collaborated on a range of other initiatives.

This article was originally published in February 2022.