New fund to support refugee academics

Academics seeking refuge from war-torn countries are being given the opportunity to finish their studies at the University of Wolverhampton.

The University has agreed to set aside £15,000 each year to sponsor an academic or scholar who is at risk in their home country to complete a PhD.

The programme is being organised through the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA), which has a long history of supporting refugee academics to access training and employment in higher education.

One academic will be supported per year at Wolverhampton and the individual can be studying any subject of research.

Dr Phil Begg, who is Associate Dean at the School of Health and Wellbeing, is also a Trustee and Council member of CARA and has been instrumental in setting up the programme.

He said: “The University is committed to supporting the on-going development of refugee academics on a humanitarian basis. This new PhD programme will enable talented academics or scholars to complete their education in Wolverhampton and then return to their own country to help re-build it or create a new life in the UK.

“It is a humbling honour for me personally to be involved in CARA and I’m delighted that the University is making this contribution which will make such a difference to academics living in countries at conflict.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Geoff Layer added: “As an institution, we are committed to creating opportunities that will transform lives and empower people. Our core values are centred on being ethical, fair and inclusive, and in supporting a refugee academic from a war-torn country we hope to be able to set individuals on a new path that enables them to create a brighter future for themselves.”

The University has been a member of the CARA Universities Network since 2005 and also makes an annual contribution to help the organisation continue its humanitarian endeavours.

CARA was established in 1933 by leading British academics and scientists of the day to provide refuge and support for academic colleagues who were being forced by Nazi discrimination and violence to leave Germany and Austria.

The current UK programme objective is to help academics with refugee status or the equivalent to rebuild their lives and careers in academia or allied professions, at a level commensurate with their experience and expertise.

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