Cara and the ACU sign a Memorandum of Understanding

December 1, 2017 | News

On 29 November 2017 the Chief Executive and Secretary-General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), Dr Joanna Newman, and Cara’s Executive Director, Stephen Wordsworth, signed a Memorandum of Understanding between their two organisations, in the presence of their two Chairs, Professor Amit Chakma and Mrs Anne Lonsdale.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) provides a non-binding framework for future collaboration between the ACU and Cara to support academics who have been forced to seek temporary refuge outside their own country. The ACU will inform its members about Cara’s work, and encourage its member institutions to establish direct contact with Cara, to agree how they can best support it.

Joanna Newman 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.’