01308 898538


Worshipful Company of Educators, Providing help to Academics in Exile and Risk of Life

I was invited by the Master Educator to one of her regular seminars on education-related issues.   The Master and members of the Company hosted Cara (the Council for At-Risk Academics).  It provides urgently needed help to academics in immediate danger – for instance those forced into exile, and many who choose to work on in their home countries despite serious risks. Cara also supports higher education institutions whose work is at risk or compromised. Cara’s roots go back to 1933, and the Nazis’ expulsion of many leading academics from Germany’s universities.

The main speaker was Stephen Wordsworth, Executive Director of Cara since 2012.  Previously he was a career member of the UK Diplomatic Service, his last two appointments being in Moscow and Belgrade.  He was appointed Chancellor of Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2022.

He told us about Cara’s Fellowship Programme.  “It has been developed in close partnership with 135 UK universities and research institutes, who provide financial support for Cara and fee waivers and other support for Cara beneficiaries. Fellowships help academics in danger to escape to a safe place where they can continue their work. Most intend to return home when they can; but they need support in the meantime to maintain and develop the skills and to build the networks that they will need when that day comes.”

“Some early-career Cara Fellows need to get postgraduate qualifications such as a PhD to continue their career; others already hold doctorates and are looking for a postdoctoral placement to carry out research, possibly with the goal of moving later into a full-time teaching or research post. Cara checks their background, qualifications and references; encourages them to identify potential supervisors/host institutions, most often in the UK but sometimes elsewhere; helps to negotiate the placement; allocates any additional funding needed from its own resources; and helps with the visa process and other practical arrangements, for them and any family members accompanying them.”

In 2022-23 their work was again been dominated by events in Afghanistan and Ukraine.

Karkiv National University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Ukraine

We then heard from an academic from Aleppo who had been assisted by Cara.  It was a moving and encouraging tale.  Congratulations to the Master and Company for an educational and interesting evening.

Post a comment

Discover more from The Worshipful Company of Water Conservators

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Skip to content