Initiatives

Here we share EAP and Social Justice related initiatives from around the world.


CARA SYRIA PROGRAMME

The Cara Syria Programme provides weekly online lessons for over 80 Syrian academics in exile in Turkey delivered by voluntary EAP teachers from around 16 universities. In addition, the programme runs online and face to face workshops in EAP and academic skills, arranges research visits to the UK, funds research grants and facilitates connections between Syrian academics and academics in the UK.

The programme was launched in 2016 to provide support to Syrian academics affected by the crisis, working primarily with those in Turkey where the largest number has sought refuge. Nearly all are committed to return when security allows, but in the immediate future they urgently need support to facilitate their continued academic development, engagement and contribution whilst in exile. As a major part of Syria’s intellectual capital, this group will be vital to the rebuilding of Syria, its Higher Education sector and the training of a new generation of professionals, including teachers, engineers, medics, architects and, of course, academics.

The EAP strand of the programme blends weekly one-to-one online lessons, with week-long face-to-face workshops in Istanbul every 2 or 3 months. EAP teachers generally commit to a 1 hour weekly online lesson with an estimated additional hour for preparation and communication. The participants’ levels range roughly from CEFR A1 to C1. Organisation background: Cara (the Council for At-Risk Academics: https://www.cara.ngo/ ) was established in 1933 by Sir William Beveridge and other key figures of the day to rescue academics being persecuted under the rise of Nazism and Fascism across Europe. Our founders defined their goal as ‘the relief of suffering and the defence of learning and science’. Those helped included Nikolaus Pevsner, Karl Popper, Ernst Chain, Ernst Gombrich, Karl Mannheim and Sigmund Freud. Cara’s work has continued over the decades, responding when world events place academics in danger. More recently, Cara’s focus has shifted to the Middle East, and Syria in particular.

“This programme is very beneficial for us, after the circumstances we have been living, after all routes were cut off around us, the roads towards research were closed in our faces. This programme is like a candle that is a light in a very dark tunnel.” – Syria Programme Participant

For further information, or to volunteer, please email Michael Jenkins at Michael.jenkins@ed.ac.uk attaching a copy of your CV.

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