During the academic year of 2015/2016, the University of Porto welcomes six Syrian students within the Global Platform 4 Syrians, an initiative – promoted by the former President of the Portuguese Republic, Jorge Sampaio – designed to provide emergency academic assistance to young students who saw their studies interrupted by the conflicts in Syria.
The U.Porto was one of the first institutions to join this international programme, from 2013/2014, allowing Syrian students to have the opportunity to pursue higher education studies abroad.
In the case of the students who came to the University in the last academic year, 1 came to attend the PhD program in Biomedical Engineering (Faculty of Engineering), 2 for the Master Programme in Spatial Planning and Urban Project (FEUP and Faculty of architecture), 1 has recently conclude the masters degree in communication sciences with 19 out of 20 in his thesis public defense (Faculty of Arts) and 1 for the Master programme in Public Health (Faculty of Medicine). Earlier this year, the U. Porto received two more students, who are also attending the Master programme in Spatial Planning and Urban Project.
The arrival of the two new students allowed an informal meeting (see video below) that gathered the Rector of the University of Porto and four Syrian students in the Rectorate building. “This is a heavy day for them but, at the same time, it’s a happy day for us because we feel that we are fulfilling our role in supporting causes like this”, highlighted Sebastian Feyo de Azevedo.
After guiding the students in a visit to the Building and the Salão Nobre, the Rector had the opportunity to know them better during a coffee break at the emblematic café Piolho. “These are people with a lot of culture and who are going through a very difficult situation. But I’m sure that, within the difficulties they’re going through and the pain that can’t be erased, they will be well received and will have the opportunity to prepare themselves for one day returning to their country. And we will be here to help them. ”
The institutional support provided by the University of Porto covers the costs related to tuition and programme fees, accommodation and language preparation etc. But not only, “ The University can offer knowledge, friendliness and hope “, concludes the Rector.