Give refugees a hand

September 15, 2006

"Don't waste our talents" (Opinion, September 8) is a considerable indictment of the way that academics who flee from regimes such as the Taleban are treated.

It is far too common that such academics face huge problems and difficulties when they come to the UK. The Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (Cara) is determined that such appalling waste and personal frustration is brought to an end. That is why we provide grants to help them build on their existing skills and academic interests. Many who have received our support now work in universities, the health service and in other occupations.

But universities and their staff have a major contribution to make. This is why we have launched a scheme to assist universities to set up structures to help refugee academics. This is jointly supported by the Scholars at Risk Network based in the US.

Applications are now invited for the Pathfinder University Grants Scheme funded by the Sigrid Rausing Trust (more information can be obtained from ). We would also encourage universities to join the UK Universities Network, which has been created to assist such academics.

Details can also be obtained from Cara.

John Akker
Executive secretary, Cara

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