The Director of the Institute of Development Studies is calling on the UK Government to provide urgent support for those from Afghanistan due to take up their places as students in the UK after being offered a Chevening Scholarship, and supported a letter from the University of Sussex Vice Chancellor to the Foreign Secretary on the issue.
This follows media reports that Chevening Scholars due to begin study in the UK in September are struggling to obtain the necessary visas and travel documentation required and risk having their places deferred until 2022.
Professor Melissa Leach, Director, Institute of Development Studies, said:
“The events unfolding in Afghanistan are deeply shocking and are a tragedy for the Afghan citizens, many of whom are now struggling to try and leave the country.
“We are extremely concerned for the safety and well-being of the young talented Afghans who had successfully been awarded a Chevening Scholarship to study in the UK this September, including those due to start a Master’s course in development studies with us at IDS. They are now in an incredibly stressful and dangerous situation, and the scholarships they were promised for this academic year are now in jeopardy.
“Chevening Scholarships are government funded and designed to enable young future leaders to study in the UK. Therefore we strongly urge the Foreign Secretary and the Prime Minister to urgently find a way to help these scholars to safely arrive in the UK and take up their places to study here as planned.”