TWU joins institutions across US to marshal support for Afghan Refugees

New ‘Welcome Campus Network’ will amplify wide-ranging efforts of higher education institutions.

TWU Denton campus skyline, south facing northeast.

Dec. 8, 2021 — DENTON — Today, a growing coalition of more than two dozen colleges and universities across the United States, including Texas Woman’s University, joined Welcome.US in announcing the Welcome Campus Network. The network will amplify the work of higher education institutions to welcome and support newly arrived Afghan refugees.

Colleges and universities in more than 30 states are actively working to provide scholarships, housing units, community sponsorship, and pathways to education for thousands of Afghan refugees and their families, as well as other support and welcoming activities. In just four months, nearly 200 institutions of higher education have pledged to help. 

To highlight these efforts, Welcome.US, the National Association of System Heads (NASH) and leaders from several colleges and universities joined a roundtable Dec. 7 hosted by White House Coordinator for Operation Allies Welcome Jack Markell and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

“By joining the Welcome Campus Network, we are simply sending a message to potential international students that TWU is a welcome and supportive place for them to earn a degree which they can use to improve their lives and their countries,” said Annie Phillips, executive director for international affairs at Texas Woman’s University. “International students from more than 50 countries are working hard here at TWU to earn their degrees. These students contribute to the wonderfully diverse student population that makes TWU so unique and enriching.”

“Institutions of higher education have a huge role to play in supporting the success of Afghan newcomers--and facilitating their tremendous contributions. Universities have long been engaged in lifting the voices of Afghan leaders and supporting greater access to education and opportunity for Afghans, first in Afghanistan, and now here in the U.S. as our allies rebuild their lives” said Welcome.US CEO Nazanin Ash. “It is incredible to see so many colleges and universities coming together and making an impact on the lives of these newcomers, and Welcome.US is eager to lift up their efforts.” 

White House Coordinator for Operation Allies Welcome, Jack Markell, added, “We’ve approached this historic resettlement effort by focusing on what it will take to equip our Afghan allies for success as they rebuild their lives in America. Education is a crucial piece of this equation. The institutions stepping up to welcome Afghan students on campus reflect the very best of America and are making an important investment in the future of our Afghan allies and in our country.”

The partnership with Welcome.US includes the National Association of System Heads, the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, the Texas International Education Consortium, and Every Campus A Refuge. Welcome.US is also partnering with leaders such as Dr. Heather Wilson, President of The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and former Secretary of the United States Air Force, who brought together chancellors and presidents of 27 universities and colleges to create the Welcome Campus Network. 

This week, NASH hosted a major convening with the chancellors of 44 state university systems to discuss the concrete commitments and substantive work they are doing to assist Afghan refugees. The Big ReThink Super-Convening featured a session on NASH’s “Afghan Action Plan,” created in partnership with Welcome.US and the White House to address gaps and opportunities to support the successful integration of Afghan refugees in communities. This session also highlighted the welcome initiatives of state university systems and the existing and unfolding housing, sponsorship, and other related efforts across hundreds of campuses nationwide.

The Welcome Campus Network includes:

  • Alamo Community College
  • Arizona State University
  • Central Washington University
  • Colorado State University
  • Every Campus A Refuge
  • Houston Community College
  • Indiana University–Purdue University, Indianapolis
  • National Association of System Heads
  • Northern Virginia Community College
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Pima Community College
  • Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration
  • Sacramento State University
  • Salt Lake Community College
  • San Jose State University
  • San Francisco State University
  • Texas Woman’s University
  • Texas International Education Consortium
  • The University of Texas at El Paso
  • University of Colorado Denver
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of Massachusetts Boston
  • University of Houston
  • University of Illinois Chicago
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County 
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Tulsa
  • University of Texas at Arlington
  • University of Texas San Antonio
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Welcome.US

About Welcome.US

Welcome.US is a new national initiative built to unite, inspire, and empower the American people to welcome and support those seeking refuge here, starting with our new Afghan neighbors. In partnership with local and national resettlement agencies, Afghan American organizations and leaders, refugees, community sponsorship groups, nonprofits, businesses, faith-based institutions, veterans, universities, three former Presidents and three former First Ladies, Welcome.US is the single point of entry for Americans who want to get involved and support those who are starting new lives in the United States.

To learn more about Welcome.US, please visit

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Manager, Social Media & Media Relations

Page last updated 12:18 PM, December 8, 2021