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New scholarship scheme brings Palestinian and Middle East students to Sussex
The University of Sussex has announced a new scholarship scheme that will provide full funding for two Palestinian postgraduate students each year. An additional scholarship will provide postgraduate funding for two students from either Syria, Lebanon or Jordan.
The schemes have been agreed with the Saїd Foundation, an organisation that works with university partners in the UK to provide postgraduate opportunities for Palestinian students in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as students across the Middle East more generally.
The successful student candidates will be admitted to study for a one-year Masters degree, beginning in September 2016. Scholarships may be awarded in any field to candidates under the age of 35. The scheme will ensure the successful candidates apply the skills and knowledge they acquire at Sussex back in their home countries.
The scholarships have resulted from the work of the Students’ Union, which has campaigned strongly for the University to support students in strife from various backgrounds and areas of the world. It has been a particularly strong supporter of Palestinians and their right to access higher education.
The Students’ Union President, Abraham Baldry, said: “Students in Palestine and the wider Middle East currently face acute difficulties in circumstances of war and oppression. We are pleased and excited that the University is taking a proactive approach to providing them with opportunities beyond the undergraduate level.”
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Clare Mackie, said: “The University already does so much to help first-generation scholars and care leavers from the UK to get access to higher education and we are extremely pleased that we are able to extend this, through this new scholarship scheme, to young people from the Middle East.”
The CEO of the Saїd Foundation, Neville McBain, said: “The Saїd Foundation has a long history of investing in the talents of young people and helping children to achieve their potential through education.
“The shared commitment to these ideals from the University of Sussex and its Students’ Union will mean that we are able to help transform the lives of more people and through that, their local communities.”
Under the Palestinian scholarship scheme, the University will pay 100% of the students’ tuition fees while the Saїd Foundation will pay the costs of travel, healthcare, visa fees and a maintenance grant.
The scholarships for Syrian, Lebanese and Jordanian students will involve Sussex paying 20% of tuition fees, with the Said Foundation providing the same assistance as for the Palestinian scheme.
These new scholarships complement the two HESPAL Scholarships, joint awards offered by the British Council and the University of Sussex, which are centred on building capacity in Palestinian universities by providing young Palestinian academics with an English Masters course in a subject that will benefit their home institution and hence the Palestinian Territories.
The scholarships also complement the recent opening of the Middle East and North Africa Centre at the University. This centre brings together Sussex’s wide range of expertise on the region and will foster academic ties with the Middle East and North Africa in various ways.