Refugee academics at-risk in their home country have joined King’s College London Executive Summer School programme. The university collaborated with refugee agency, UNHCR and with CARA (Council for At-Risk Academics), an organisation dedicated to assisting academics at risk of persecution and discrimination in their home country, to offer scholarship places.
King’s Executive Summer School (ESS) offers dynamic and rigorous one week specialist programmes. Students have the opportunity to learn from leading experts, broaden creative capabilities and tap into new research and the latest thinking on issues within social sciences, health policy, arts, education, security and management. They are exposed to interactive teaching approaches and learn alongside participants around the world, ensuring a unique experience.
Jibril Hussein has a Bachelors degree in Microbiology from Sindh University in Pakistan and an MBA Health & Management from Preston University, Islamabad, Pakistan. Originally from Somalia, following his studies Jibril returned to his home country, becoming a lecturer in Microbiology at Amoud University in northern Somalia. He and his family left Somalia two years ago because of the security situation and were granted Refugee status in the UK.
Jibril took the ESS one week course in Health & Policy Management. He said: ‘The course was intensive covering a large number of topics and involving professors with a wealth of expertise. We were a small group – there were just eight of us which meant lots opportunity for discussion. Other students came from Dubai, Australia, Nigeria – it was fantastic to meet people from around the world, bringing real-world high level expertise and experiences into the group. I’m very grateful to CARA for facilitating; it was really a fantastic experience. I’d like to continue my studies in Public Health.’
Mesghina Tedla was Head of ICT at the Ministry of Education in Eritrea, a high school teacher and university lecturer before coming to the UK in 2009. After coming to the UK he worked at University College London (UCL) for two years as a lecturer in new learning technologies. He would like to continue to develop his career, and in September is due to start a PhD research in education leadership and management.
Mesghina took the ESS one week course in Education, Management & Leadership. He said: ‘I found the experience profound. The course leaders were very knowledgeable about the subject matter and discussions were to the point. The course was focused on aspects of the school system and education management: Crucially, the course really helped me to confirm my experience and skills as an education leader.
‘I can’t thank CARA enough for their assistance and support – they’ve given me light in a dark room. When I first came to the UK I was exhausted and felt I had no hope of finding meaningful professional work, as I had no UK experience to speak of. CARA’s links with the UK Higher Education Sector are invaluable to retaining the knowledge and experience of academics at risk.’
Professor Vaughan Robinson, King’s Graduate School, said:‘King’s has worked with CARA for some time to provide opportunities for at–risk academics. We are delighted to welcome these scholarship students and give them the benefit of King’s Executive education which we trust will benefit their future careers.’