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British student stops UK universities from expelling Syrian students

Local | 2013-10-14 00:00:00
British student stops UK universities from expelling Syrian students

A British girls student initiative has saved hundreds of Syrian Student from being expelled from UK Universities. through her petition on Avaaz organisation, the community website which enables users to create petitions, 

The Story started when Christine, a UK student at Leeds University, was shocked when she heard that Syrian students at her school might be expelled and even deported back to the horrible situation in Syria, because they couldn’t pay their school fees, some because their families had been killed or not being able to support them. That encouraged her to act actively and as a result, she managed to save hundreds of students at dozens of universities from that nightmare.

She did it by getting together with some friends and starting a petition on the Avaaz community petitions website. The petition was sensible and explained the situation. She only sent it to a few friends, but they sent it to more, and it soon spread on twitter, with over 45,000 people signing.

Avaaz team helped Christine get the story on TV and in major newspapers, which encouraged government ministers to push schools to waive fees and start a plan to make sure no student ever faces expulsion because of war in Syria.

The students’ victory was a light at the end of the tunnel for Syrians at a time when their fate was vague, caught between a brutal dictator and the whims of presidents of countries playing politics.

It worth mentioning that Avaaz community will vote to choose the ten best petition ideas with the potential to dramatically change our communities, cities or countries, and the campaigns get up to $10,000 in financial support to supercharge their call.

Christine petition  

670 Syrian students currently study in UK higher education institutions. Many have been threatened by their universities with immediate expulsion –some have already been expelled – if either they or their sponsors can no longer pay for their tuition fees, due to the conflict in Syria. Syrian students in that case would then lose their student visas and their right to work, leaving them in impossible situations.

Also, at least 100 Syrian PhD students in the UK are sponsored by the Syrian Government under the British Council's Capacity Building Scheme, and their funding and maintenance payments have been stopped by the Syrian authorities. This has left these students in limbo as they may not be allowed to complete their studies.

The lives of these 670 Syrian students are threatened – those who would lose their UK visas would be forced to return to Syria. And if they are suspected of taking part in protests against Assad's government, they could face detention, torture and even assassination at the hands of the Syrian regime.

The Foreign Secretary William Hague can ensure that Syrian students are able to continue their studies in the UK, including those who have already been expelled – like he did for the Libyan students affected by the conflict in 2011. Let's call on Hague and Vince Cable, Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills together with the Universities Minister David Willetts and his colleagues in Scotland - asking them to do the same for Syrian students.Please sign and share this petition widely!

Read the original article in EQTSAD; Translation by Yusra Ahmed

Lara Stuart-Mueller
She's a hero! God bless Christine and all 45,000 who signed!!!!
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