The past few years have witnessed a string of violent attacks on academic institutions worldwide, most recently when al-Shabab militants killed 147 people, mostly students, during an assault on Garissa University College in Kenya this past April. In Iraq, almost 500 academics have been assassinated, and campuses looted, burned or destroyed in the ongoing violence since the 2003 American invasion. Meanwhile, incalculable damage has been done to Syria’s academic institutions during years of escalating warfare.
Former president of Portugal Jorge Sampaio, laureate of the first U.N. Nelson Mandela Prize, joined academics and officials from educational institutions around the world at the University of York to declare a joint commitment to protect and rebuild higher education wherever it has been threatened or harmed by armed conflict.
Other key figures in attendance included Professor Joseph Isaac, president of the African Methodist Episcopal University of Liberia; Habibullah Habib, president of Kabul University; and Dr. Allan Goodman, president of the Institute of International Education.
For more on higher education in zones of conflict within the Arab world, read Sultan Barakat and Sansom Milton’s latest policy briefing, “The Responsibility to Protect and Rebuild Higher Education in the Arab World.”
Former president of Portugal and laureate of the first U.N. Nelson Mandela Prize, Jorge Sampaio, will join academics and officials from educational institutions around the world at the University of York to declare a commitment to protect and rebuild higher education caught in the crossfire of armed conflict.
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