A Lifeline for Syrian Students: Fund Scholarships for Higher Education

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Imagine a society without higher education. No doctors to care for the sick; no engineers to build homes. Help Syrian students complete their degrees by funding scholarships from the Global Platform for Syrian Students!

The Global Platform for Syrian Students (GP4SS) is a non-profit organisation which recognizes that higher education plays a unique role in the context of emergencies, as it produces the leaders and skilled workforce that countries need to move forward after crisis and conflict. As the conflict in Syria has triggered the world’s largest humanitarian crisis since World War II, the Global Platform for Syrian Students aims to contribute to respond to this catastrophe, by focusing on Higher Education needs, a neglected area of humanitarian intervention by the international community.



Founded in 2013, by Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal, with the support of the Council of Europe, the League of Arab States, the International Organization of Migrations and the Institute of International Education, this initiative effectively brings together the efforts and the contributions of the various institutions willing to back an emergency mechanism to support Syrian students: governments, international and regional organisations, donor agencies, universities, foundations, NGOs of different cultural backgrounds and faith-based organizations, the private sector and individuals.

From March 2014, Syrian students have been receiving a rare lifeline. A humanitarian rescue operation has allowed over 100 Syrian students selected out of thousands of candidates to resume their university studies at universities around the world under an emergency scholarship program. It offers a comprehensive, integrated higher education services package to the selected students. There are currently 64 students in Portugal, 16 in Lebanon, and dozens more not only in neighbouring countries but also across the world.  

A one year scholarship in Portugal costs €6000. WIth this campaign you can multiply the number of scholarships provided, transforming these students’ lives and giving them back a chance to finish their education and rebuild their country.

In support of this campaign, Ar | Respire Connosco will present ‘Rebuilding from Conflict: The Power of Education in Emergencies’. This event will examine why education is important for the individual and the society. It will feature talks from Dr Jo Beall of the British Council and a Syrian student from the programme, as well as a special guest appearance by former Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio. The event will be held on the 11th March at 9pm, in the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown auditorium. Tickets are free, and are available to be reserved when you make a donation to this campaign.

About the author

Ar - Respire connosco is the brainchild of a group of neuroscience students and researchers from the Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme. We present a regular programme of events, ranging from talks, dance performances, debates and interactive projects, all connected with science and scientific ideas. Alongside this is our website and online magazine, with information about upcoming and past events, forums for discussion and debate, articles about interesting scientific development and links to all the cool things going on in the world of science right now.

As students and researchers, we felt compelled to take action to support our fellow students to finish their studies. The loss of a generation of university graduates will be a tragedy not just for Syria but also for the global community.

The Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme community is an extremely diverse group, with backgrounds including computer science, finance, medicine and even clown school. We converged on Lisbon from over 30 different countries around the world to try and comprehend how the brain and nervous system performs all of the amazing things it does every day.

Our research focuses on understanding the normal functioning of the brain, both human and animal. The brain performs huge numbers of tasks better than the most powerful computers we’ve ever been able to build, and it does this without anyone sitting at the controls or writing the programmes for it – a beautiful, self-teaching, evolving system. We want to advance human knowledge on some of nature’s most complex problems, and hopefully share some of its wonders with you!

A ciência está no Ar – respire connosco.

Budget and due dates

1 year scholarship for one student = 6000€

The funds raised will go to GP4SS, a non-profit organisation, and will be used to provide scholarships to Syrians students for the next academic year.
Each scholarship costs 6000 euros. This amount includes allowance money for Syrian students to live in their host country while they are completing their degree.
Our goal is to raise a minimum of one scholarship, giving at least one more Syrian student the tools to rebuild their life and future.
Our dream is that all students get a chance to finish their degree and we need your help to do so!