Cambridge University have confirmed their pledge to fund higher education scholarships for refugees and individuals from war-torn states

Written by Nicola Stavrinou
Images by Memory Catcher

The prestigious institution has teamed up with the Cambridge Charity Trust to establish a system where 10 refugees can be afforded the funding needed to cover tuition fees and maintenance costs. While the University has confirmed the programme, the formal procedure in which this is to take place is is yet to be announced.

This comes into play as the Syrian crisis enters its seventh year of conflict. With the UNHCR stating 47.5% refugees are under the age of 18, universities concerned with the impact of war and conflict on education are attempting to introduce schemes to combat this. Individuals absent from universities as a result of conflict have since been labelled the ‘lost generation’ by academics.

The scholarship entered discussion after Abdullah Kattineh, a Syrian student whose education was affected by the Syrian conflict, was able to raise enough money to cover his fees and costs and was offered a place at Corpus Christi. The Cambridge Refugee Scholarship Campaign have endorsed such moves since 2017. With Cambridge University responding to their calls for action by spending over £500,000 on addressing the shortage of refugees in higher education, the Campaign group have agreed to work alongside the institution to make the initiative a successful one.

Such moves have been attempted previously by other institutions such as Oxford University who, in 2016, had a unit of students fundraising for the same individuals to be supported financially in the pursuit of their education. Both campaigns can be said to have a rippling effect within the sector, increasing the presence of charitable initiatives. In a statement posted on the University of Birmingham website, Dr Dina Kiwan of the School of Education said that aiding refugees into higher education at a PhD level is the first project to be confirmed by the University.