The Global Platform for Syrian Students is an international assistance project that enables Syrian students to pursue higher education studies outside their country. The University of Porto currently hosts 7 Syrian students within this programme, and they have been achieving very good academic results.
The International Platform Global Platform 4 Syrian Students brings together several partners, joining efforts to promote a hosting programme for Syrian students to continue higher education studies in institutions willing to welcome them. This project began in the academic year 2013/2014 within the scope of the humanitarian aid provided to Syria, joining scholarship opportunities with peacebuilding and reconciliation activities for participating students so as to give them tools and knowledge that will help them with conflict management and the reconstruction of their home country.
This initiative promoted by the former President of the Portuguese Republic, Jorge Sampaio, following the conclusion of his tenure as UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, has created an active network of partners within a consortium of institutions, which enables the exchange of good practices, experiences and points of view, in the context of innovative academic emergency aid.
Following the project presented by Dr. Jorge Sampaio, the University of Porto offered to support the Global Platform 4 Syrian Students project by hosting seven Syrian students in the University of Porto, paying all the academic fees and assigning scholarships to cover costs of accommodation, language preparation, among others.
Duration: since 2013/2014
Refugee students: 7 Syrian students (not holding refugee status)
The Rectorate of the University of Porto supports this project through the Rector’s cabinet and the Vice-Rectorate for International Relations and Culture (at the Rectorate/central management level).
In light of its extensive experience, the project is managed at local level by the International Office. Welcoming, orientation and monitoring of the study periods and of the students’ success and well-being is ensured at central level, within its international student support services and in strict collaboration with the University of Porto faculties, attended/chosen by the students.
The Global Platform for Syrian Students is a non-profit multi-stakeholders organisation. In Portugal, the Platform has partnered with higher education institutions, companies/corporate partners, associations/entities and individuals (donors, hosting families) that currently support the programme and the students who are welcomed in Portugal. The Global Platform for Syrian Students is made up of the widest possible range of stakeholders, welcoming participants from governments, NGOs, the private sector as well as individuals.
Developing and maintaining a diverse support base is critical to preserve independence, inclusiveness and credibility of the Global Platform for Syrian Students. This is why the Global Platform is constantly seeking new supporters and donors willing to make a commitment to provide support to the initiative, whether that support is financial or in-kind. The Global Platform is indebted, not only to those donors who have already made pledges and commitments, but also to the many who have already given so much of their time, creativity and in-kind assistance or who are willing to do so in the future.
Following the project presented by Dr. Jorge Sampaio, the University of Porto decided to actively support the Global Platform 4 Syrian Students project, by hosting 7 Syrian students in the University of Porto and paying the academic fees and assigning scholarships to cover costs of accommodation, language preparation, among others.
Following the University of Porto support to this project, through the Rector’s cabinet and Vice-Rector for International Relations and Culture, the University allocated a special budget – from the institution/organisation’s internal budget (decision approved by the University of Porto General Council, according to the U.Porto governance model).
The average monthly expenditure for a student in at the University of Porto (in this specific case, the students’ subsistence and Health Insurance are covered by the Global Platform 4 Syrian Students):
Academic fees: varying according to programmes from 1 000 € to 8 500 €
Accommodation: approx. 150 € to 250 € (University hall of residence or private accommodation)