Students’ Association President Freddie Fforde has committed £2,000 as a contribution towards bringing Palestinian students to St Andrews to study on a one-year masters’ course.
The donation is coming from the Overseas Student Fund, an account held by the Students’ Association that can only be used to promote education for overseas students.
If at least £7,200 per student can be raised to cover other expenses, the University will waive tuition fees for up to two Palestinian students.
In previous years the Overseas Student Fund has helped sponsor students from Egypt and Ghana, Fforde said. This year, he wanted to do “something different,” he said. He described the £2,000 donation about half the remaining money that was needed.
St Andrews Education for Palestinian Students (STEPS), the charity handling this project, launched its 2013 appeal with an event in St Andrews Town Hall on 22 February.
“STEPS have told us that our £2,000 should make the difference this year between them being able to bring a student or not,” the Students’ Association President told STAR’s STARt The Week with Freddie Fforde.
The Students’ Association says the STEPS campaign presents a chance for suitably qualified Palestinian students to benefit from a truly world-class education, when their opportunities are severely limited.
“STEPS have worked hard to realise the dream of a world-class St Andrews education for Palestinian students,” Fforde said in a press release.
“We’re delighted that we are able to help support a student this year, and welcome the opportunity to join the STEPS steering committee. My thanks go especially to those who have fundraised for our Overseas Scholarship in past years, making this donation possible.”
STEPS representative Elizabeth Stitts said: “STEPS scholarship fund for Palestinian students has had a significant boost thanks to the generous donation from the Students’ Association Board of Trustees.
“We are so grateful to the Students’ Association for placing the possibility of a life-changing event on the table for a Palestinian student who would not otherwise be able to benefit from postgraduate education.
“As UNESCO has recognised there are great difficulties for Palestinians seeking to embark on postgraduate study, STEPS exists to smooth this difficult path by providing funding for day to day living expenses and travel for Palestinian students accepted onto a course of study at the university.”
STEPS was established in January 2011 as an independent charitable foundation to provide maintenance and travel expenses for Palestinian students studying at the University of St Andrews. It was awarded charitable status in August 2011.