Goldsmiths Art School Launches Refugee and Asylum Seeker Scholarships

The respected London art school chips in.

Goldsmith's University has offered six scholarships to refugee or asylum seeking students. Photo: Goldsmiths

The respected London art school Goldsmiths has responded to the ongoing European refugee crisis by creating six new scholarships for refugees and asylum seekers.

According to a statement on its website, the scholarships—which are worth a combined £140,000 ($214,803)—will be offered to three undergraduate students and three postgraduate students.

Eligibility for funding is open to all current students classified as asylum seekers or waiting the outcome of an asylum application who have been offered a place to study at Goldsmiths.

The full scholarships cover the costs of teaching and accommodation, and include a “maintenance bursary” of up to £10,000 a year, which the university says marks a significant increase in its funding for those affected by events in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.

Millions of refugees have fled to Europe to escape conflict and poverty. Photo: Hendrik Schmidt via Getty Images/AFP/

Millions of refugees have fled to Europe to escape conflict and poverty.
Photo: Hendrik Schmidt via Getty Images/AFP

The statement emphasized the important role played by Goldsmiths Students’ Union (GSU) in raising the funds for the financial support program, and said the student body would continue to work closely with the university.

GSU and the Student and Library Service (SALS) collaborated to develop a support program for refugee and asylum seeking students, which includes English language lessons and trauma relief. The university announced it will work with the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA), a charity supporting academics who cannot continue their research in their home countries because of persecution or conflict.

“We have never seen events like those which unfolded over the summer. Those images and stories compelled us to act—we simply could not stand by and do nothing,” Patrick Loughrey, warden of Goldsmiths, said in the statement. “Goldsmiths is in a position of real privilege to be able to help, initially with these scholarships but also by developing an ongoing academic response to this terrible crisis,” he added.

Goldsmiths Warden Patrick Loughrey said the art school couldn't just stand by and watch the crisis unfold. Photo: Goldsmiths

Goldsmiths warden Patrick Loughrey said the art school couldn’t just stand by and watch the crisis unfold.
Photo: via Goldsmiths

“Education is the most powerful and sustainable resource on the planet. To those with nothing, and to those who have lost everything, education is the only meaningful mechanism of rebellion; the only meaningful mechanism of change,” Danny Nasr, Goldsmiths Students’ Union Education officer, said.

The art world has banded together to raise awareness and provide relief to the European refugee crisis. Ai Weiwei and Anish Kapoor marched in solidarity in September, and Kapoor initiated a petition calling on the UK government to act on the crisis.

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