CARA maintains a database of refugee academics located in the UK who would benefit from direct engagement with and support from a UK higher education institution. This includes both current and past CARA grantees, and those who have sought CARA’s assistance in rebuilding careers through its complementary information & advice programme.
The database also facilitates the identification of academics at-risk who remain in their country of origin and who would benefit from a gainful period of engagement and sanctuary as a visiting academic or fellow or sponsored researcher etc. within a UK university or research institute.
As part of its core activities, CARA compiles and circulates a quarterly list of those refugee and at-risk academics who would benefit from such a ‘hosting’. The list provides an anonymised summary profile of the academics and the support being sought, from which members are invited to identify candidates that they may be able to assist. If a suitable candidate presents themselves then CARA will provide additional information such as CVs and references on request.
Member universities are invited to adopt a creative approach to hosting which might involve access to university facilities such as libraries, academic or career development courses and resources, English language training etc; lecturing, honorary research, or work-shadowing opportunities; one-to-one mentoring; part or full-time paid lecturing opportunities.
The Network’s Pathfinder University Grants Scheme in 2006-08 supported and encouraged the analysis and development of more effective systems, policies and practices in UK universities, in support of refugee and threatened academics. It increased awareness and understanding of the difficulties faced by those academics forced to flee their countries of origin only to find themselves in an alien environment in which, despite a lifetime’s academic career, their qualifications are not necessarily recognised, their English language skills are limited, they have little or no understanding of the UK’s higher education system or teaching, research or recruitment practices, and they find themselves isolated and without guidance.