University of Leicester running free event on how war affects education

Syrian professors provide first-hand account of teaching in war-torn country.

People are invited to attend a free event at the University of Leicester to hear first-hand how war can affect education. The event will have two visiting professors* from Syria speaking about the state of education and life experienced by professors and students, including those who have become refugees, as a result of the conflict. Around 4 million people have become refugees since the conflict began in Syria and six million have become displaced.

Event content will include the difficulties faced in attaining higher education when there is limited access to resources, including online courses, as Syrians don’t have credit cards due to international sanctions. It will also explore how UK universities could work with their Syrian peers to improve the quality of education through exchanging experiences and even applying for grants together.

The event will be held on Wednesday 27 February from 12.30pm to 2.00pm at the Ken Edwards Building on the University’s campus. The two professors from Syria will be joined by professors from the University. It is free and open to all, but guests need to book their ticket in advance. Tickets can be booked via Eventbrite.

The University of Leicester is one of only five universities in the UK providing the lecture being organised by Al-Fanar Media and the British Council. It is one of the first events the University is hosting since it became a University of Sanctuary in November 2018. In becoming a University of Sanctuary, Leicester is committed to making itself a place that is understanding towards the needs of refugees and asylum seekers. The event also supports the Leicester City of Sanctuary by contributing a local activity aimed at creating a culture of hospitality in the city.

Philip Horspool, Director of the English Language Teaching Unit and Chair of Leicester University of Sanctuary, said: “This event will provide a first-hand account of the difficulties faced in achieving higher education by those affected by war. It will also enable us to discuss how displaced youths and professors can be helped to achieve the education we all deserve. We are proud of our status as a University of Sanctuary and this event enables us to contribute to ensuring that we are a genuinely welcoming place for people seeking help from the UK.”