Crue Universidades Españolas has adhered to the request coordinated by Scholars at Risk, and signed by the European Association of Universities (USA) and conferences of rectors and European universities, to demand that the governments and institutions of the European Union adopt immediate measures to ensure the life and academic trajectory of university professors, researchers, students and members of civil society in Afghanistan.
With the title ‘Urgent appeal to European Governments and EU Institutions: Take Action for Afghanistan’s scholars, researchers, and civil society actors’, more than a hundred university organizations, including Crue, urge through this text to the European leaders to continue evacuation flights for members of the Afghan university community.
They also call for an increase in resettlement quotas in EU countries to help Afghan citizens in need of international protection, including researchers, academics and students, and to ensure such protection through more agile processes that also accelerate requests for international protection. family reunification.
In this joint statement, to which the Coordinator of Student Representatives of Public Universities (CREUP) has also adhered, the associations urge to create accelerated complementary legal channels for candidates who demonstrate that they have the support of a host institution, a job or a sponsor.
They also propose the development of a specific European plan for academics and students at risk , especially aimed at women and ethnic and religious minorities that includes the realization of scholarships, chairs, internships or temporary contracts. They also invite European governments to launch national scholarship schemes such as the PAUSE program in France and the Philipp Schwartz Initiative of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany.
The signatory organizations warn that “the erosion of the situation in Afghanistan poses a threat not only to the lives of members of the university community and civil society actors who remain there against their will, but also to the future of this country”. They argue that the moral leadership of the European Union, including its commitment to Human Rights, the rule of law and multilateralism, “is needed now more than ever and it is imperative that those commitments are put into practice at this time of crisis.”
Finally, they recall that the European Higher Education community is ready to do whatever it can, but needs the help of governments and European institutions: “If we act quickly, we can go a long way to mitigate the worst of threats and demonstrate continued commitment to the future of Afghanistan and its people. ”
The Government studies the situation
The Ministry of Universities is studying that students who have arrived from Afghanistan and who are in Spain can continue their university studies at a Spanish university, according to Ministry sources told Europa Press. The initiative arose as a result of several universities offering to host young people from Afghanistan who fled their country after the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban.
Ministry sources indicated that, at the moment, there is no proposal on the table and all matters related to Afghanistan are coordinated directly with the Presidency. As they specified, only the situation is being studied.
The rector of the University of Granada, Pilar Aranda, showed the readiness of the Andalusian academic institution to host Afghan students, administration staff, teachers and researchers, so that they can continue their training or their work at the university, while the term lasts. humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
The University of Valencia announced that it is working on the development of a program for the incorporation of Afghan university students and professors into Spanish faculties, a project for which it demands the collaboration of the rest of the Spanish centers and authorities.
And the Regional Ministries of Research and Universities and of Equality and Feminisms of the Catalan Government announced that they are finalizing a collaboration agreement that will allow “the deployment of a specific university extension course for Afghan refugees” in Catalonia. The pilot program foresees financing the academic and administrative expenses derived from the subscription to the course, as well as financial contributions destined to the ordinary expenses of the students.
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