UK universities to employ Syria academic refugees
The Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA) is helping scholars fleeing the ongoing conflict in Syria find their way into British universities.
“People coming over always bring with them their own experiences,” Reuters quoted CARA Executive Director Stephen Wordsworth as saying on Monday. “It helps to encourage new ideas and new thinking,” he added.
The Daesh Takfiri terrorists, who control swaths of land in Syria, Iraq and other regions, have a history of directly targeting academics. According to reports, they recently killed three staff of Iraq’s Mosul University.
CARA has been cooperating with the UK’s oldest university, Oxford, and over 100 other British universities to grant employment to the new arrivals.
According to the UK-based charity group, around two thirds of the 140 academics who have fled Daesh and are seeking aid from CARA hail from Syria.
Wordsworth added that the academics will not be granted refugee status, but will receive visiting academic visas and are expected to leave after peace returns to their countries. He added that the costs will be divided by the hosting university and CARA.
He noted that in order to improve general understanding of the crisis in Syria, the academics will be able to discuss their experiences with students, staff, and human rights groups.
“(Visiting academics) bring their scholarship and their research talents, for us this is not simply an act of charity,” said Simon Cope, the spokesman for Merton College, which cooperates with CARA. “They come and they contribute, and we see this very much as something from which we stand to gain.”