Several Oxford colleges are presently working towards offering places to academics fleeing Syria.
Christ Church, Merton and St John’s have been working with other colleges and with CARA, the Council for At Risk Academics, to offer places at Oxford colleges to those needing to escape the present situation in Syria.
The academics that are placed at Oxford have their university fees, accommodation and food costs met, and they are invited to stay in Oxford for a maximum of two years.
The Dean of Christ Church, the very Revd. Professor Martyn Percy, said that his college had been able to offer support to a professor of pharmaceutical chemistry: “We took a decision several months ago that we would try to offer hospitality to academics at risk in the Middle East.
“She was in Aleppo working at the university when she was forced to leave because of the instability and violence there. We are very glad to be able to offer her hospitality and support here”.
Reports suggest that so far four academics have been offered places at Oxford colleges through their work with CARA.
CARA was founded in 1933 to offer assistance to Jewish academics fleeing the Nazi regime. It continues its work today in offering safe places to work for academics and also offers them help in establishing connections within their wider academic communities to aid with the re-building of their societies if they wish to return home.
CARA were unavailable for comment.
Image: Howard Stanbury