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UCL continues to support at-risk academics and students

By Kerry Milton, on 14 October 2015

At a time when the media directs the attention of all of us to the plight of those affected by Europe’s refugee and migrant crisis, UCL is committed to supporting academics and students whose research and education has been disrupted and whose lives are at risk, through funding and placements enabling them to complete their education and research.

Working with the Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara) since 2006, UCL has a track-record of helping academics who are unable to continue their research in their home country. Cara (founded in 1933 by some of Britain’s foremost academics and scientists) seeks to help academics and scientists who are fleeing from discrimination, persecution and violence in some of the world’s most dangerous places by securing placements through their UK University Network. UCL also works with the Saïd Foundation, a non-political and non-sectarian organisation which supports students predominately in Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and the United Kingdom to complete their education.

When the need to support displaced academics and students is greater than ever, UCL will continue working with organisations such as Cara and the Saïd Foundation, enabling academics and students in the greatest need to find a safe harbour at UCL in London to continue their research and study. We do this through tuition fee waivers and Fellowships with a number of students and research Fellows currently on campus. In addition, UCL has recently decided to double its annual subscription to Cara for the next three years, with immediate effect.

Stephen Wordsworth CMG LVO, Cara’s Executive Director recently commented “At Cara, we are delighted to recognise UCL as one of the strongest supporters of our work this year – generously hosting, with support from central resources, Academic Departments and DARO, while also increasing its existing contribution to Cara’s central funds, without which Cara couldn’t operate at all. With growing numbers of academics across the Middle East in particular at serious risk, and desperately needing a safe haven where they can study and work until they are able to return, we look forward to building on this outstanding cooperation in the years ahead.” Further information is available in Cara’s Annual Report.

A number of UCL staff and colleagues from other institutions met at UCL two weeks ago to discuss the recent Research Professional article “Refugee crisis ‘exposes knowledge gaps'”. UCL staff wishing to contribute to this discussion should contact Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh at e.fiddian-qasmiyeh@ucl.ac.uk