News | Syrian students seek extra support

Syrian students have voiced their dismay at the support being offered to them by the University and the Union.

Despite Leeds waiving or deferring some tuition fees, they also need financial aid for accommodation.

Privately funded students, also affected by the ongoing conflict in their country, have complained that they are not receiving the same level of financial support.

A second year PhD student, who wishes to remain anonymous, told LS that the unrest in Syria is causing “difficulties not only [with] paying fees but [also] with other expenses.”

When seeking help from the Union for financial aid the student stated that they received “minimal help and did not even fulfill my fees for last year.” The student has renewed their application this year and awaits an answer. In the meantime they are “very worried” about how they will be able to complete their studies.

Christine Gilmore, President of the Friends of Syria society, praised the way the University has helped Syrian students, but added that “there are still some students experiencing financial hardship, particularly those forced to seek asylum and who now cannot continue their studies due to their refugee status.”

She added: “They lose benefits if they study but have no other means of support.” Emma Friend, the Union’s Equality and Diversity Officer said: “any student in hardship is not alone and support is available.”


A University spokesperson told LS that the University and Union are “working in partnership to provide support to students who are experiencing difficulties as a consequence of the crisis situation in Syria. The International Student Office has also been supporting students in considering various non-standard immigration routes that may be available to them in the circumstances.”

The spokesperson added: “We would stress that any of our students who are concerned about their situation and who need help or advice about a particular issue or issues, should contact the Student Advice Centre.”

Carina Derhalli

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