New partnership between ACU and the Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara) will support academics in danger

Commonwealth flags (CREDIT: Image by REUTERS /Yves Herman)

A new partnership agreement between the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and the Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara) will help academics at risk to find refuge throughout the Commonwealth. 

On Wednesday 29 November 2017 the ACU and Cara signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signalling both organisations’ strong belief that academics who are in danger must be helped, rescued where necessary, and given the opportunity to continue their important work in host countries.

This MoU will provide a framework for future collaboration between the ACU and Cara, which will support academics who have been forced to seek refuge outside their own country. As part of this, the ACU will actively be informing its members about Cara and encouraging them to support Cara’s work.

Joanna Newman, ACU Chief Executive and Secretary General, said: ‘Our ambition is to introduce Cara to our wide network of ACU member universities across the Commonwealth and encourage them to host scholars at risk. Cara was founded in 1933 to help refugee academics escape Nazi Germany and over the decades since, they have continued to help academics who have gone on to make a huge contribution to the advance of science and knowledge, and to society in general.

‘Both the ACU and Cara share a common belief in the value of higher education to society, and the conviction that this value is enhanced by international collaboration. I look forward to working closely with Cara and supporting academics in need.’

Stephen Wordsworth, Executive Director of Cara, said: ‘Tragically, many academics around the world risk persecution, imprisonment, violence or even death on a daily basis because of what they say or write, because of conflict, or for other reasons.

‘For almost 85 years, Cara has been working with universities in the UK, the Commonwealth and elsewhere, to offer places of refuge to those in immediate danger. We are delighted now to put this cooperation with Commonwealth universities on a more solid footing through this MoU, and we look forward to working with the ACU and its members to help even more academics and their families to get to safety, and to continue their important work.’

Further information

For more information about Cara, visit their website.