Palestinian student’s dreams of UK study at risk
Categories: Latest News
Friday September 29 2017
A Palestinian student, Mohammed Awad, is losing hope of starting his Masters degree at Goldsmiths this term because of delays in approvals from the Israeli government, The Independent reports.
Twenty-eight year-old Awad lives in the Gaza Strip and has been diligently pursuing his dream of higher education in the UK. After applying for 10 different scholarships, Awad was thrilled to receive a fully funded place on Goldsmith’s MA in Multilingualism, Linguistics & Education.
However, due to significant delays at Cogat (Coordination of Government Activities in Territories, the body which oversees Israeli policy in occupied regions), Awad does not yet have the necessary paperwork to leave the Gaza Strip and start his course.
If Awad is not able to arrive in London by 1 November, he will lose his place at Goldsmiths. Awad previously missed out on the opportunity to study in France in 2014, also because of Cogat delays.
According to Gisha, an Israeli NGO that helps to protect Palestinians’ freedom of movement, Awad is one of many promising Gaza residents who have been hindered from furthering their studies outside Gaza. Because of the Israeli blockade, gaining permission for Gazans to leave is incredibly difficult and time-consuming. Since January 2017, 362 Gaza residents have been awarded places at higher education institutions abroad, but only 73 have been granted clearance to leave thus far.
To help Mohammed fulfil his hope of studying in the UK, write to your MP. You can ask them to 1) alert the Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the importance of this case, and 2) write to Cogat to request that Mohammed’s case is expedited. You can find out who your MP is here.