With the conflict in Syria nearing its fifth year, over 300,000 Syrians have been killed and over 9 million left homeless. There are now 3.9 million Syrian refugees fleeing the violence and persecution, with over half of these refugees being children. These are people who have lost loved ones, experienced extreme violence, have severe medical conditions, and are unable to return to the places where they grew up and the lives that they had before. They are seeking safety.
In 2015 MDXSU launched a joint campaign with Citizens UK to convince Barnet Council to resettle 50 Syrian refugees. We worked with local residents, synagogues, mosques, churches, schools to guarantee training, job opportunities, housing and education for those resettled in Barnet, and are excited to announce that Barnet Council have now agreed to our request! We now have 50 refugees living in Barnet, engaging in work and education opportunities here.
The campaign isn't over yet, and is now led by Vice President Art & Design and Media & Performing Arts, Joe Cox and Vice President Health, Education, Science & Technology, Raquel Marques. Some of the refugees want to go to University, to study subjects they are passionate about and embrace the opportunities University life offers. But unfortunately they are not able to access any Student Finance funding to do so.
We believe that everyone should be able to access education. That's why we're now working to welcome refugees to Middlesex University who want to study Higher Education. So far we have already won four feewaivers meaning we now have four refugees studying at Middlsex for free! Next, we are working to introduce an annual refugee scholarship, so that there is funding for people fleeing persecution to study at Middlesex every year.