An academic help for migrants coming to our country – we must act!

All of a sudden, Sweden and other countries in Europe and elsewhere seem to wake up and realize that families, single children, men and women coming from the MENA-region, especially Syria, are risking their lives, many have died, on their trip to a safer and better situation outside their home countries.

The three year old child Alan and his little body lying in the typical small children’s sleeping position at the shore in Turkey suddenly made everyone aware about what is going on. Nothing like small children’s deaths touches our souls. But the situation has been going on for so long time now. It is a shame that we all have waited so long to take in the situation that persons are going through, before reacting.

The situation at borders in Europe, at railway stations is chaotic.  People walk on highways, and at the same time many persons in our country help out as volunteers, quite a few from our university too!  The Swedish railway company Statens Järnvägar (SJ), lets migrants travel for free.

So what can universities do? As our core mission is research and education, we can help out for those persons who have studied in their home countries, and would like to enter the labor market as soon as possible. We can see to it that they get a shortcut to validation of their previous studies and further. Our university, like others, is a partner within the project Korta vägen a project that makes it possible for persons with an academic background to get a shortcut and together with validation, complementary studies where needed, including the Swedish language.

Other ways of helping is e.g.  the Scholars at Risk project which promotes academic freedom and defends the human rights of scholars around the world. Swedish universities like Lund University are part of this network.

Our University will discuss further actions how to help academics and students that have been forced to leave their home countries.  I hope that we can intensify our work in this field!

The best of all action is the personal action that so many of our staff and students already do by helping out as volunteers or by giving money and gifts to officially recognized  organizations or directly to persons in need. Read the Vice-Chancellor’s blog too ( http://rektor.blogg.lu.se).

We can help. We are only human beings all of us, some born in a country where you can live in peace, some less fortunate. Let us help out, as persons, as university!

Eva

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