22/09/2015 08:54 BST | Updated 22/09/2015 08:59 BST

British Universities Are Offering Syrian Refugees Scholarships

David Wilcock/PA Wire
A person holds a sign as Amnesty International members protest the number of Syrian refugees taken in by the UK, in Parliament Square, London.

British universities are offering scholarships for refugees who have fled from Syria, North Africa and the Middle East, as well as offering "scholar rescue status" to refugee academics.

Warwick University is to offer 20 scholarships over the next two years, while York University will provide full financial support for three undergraduates a year for the next three years.

York's scholarships are part of a £500,000 package from the institution which includes raising awareness of the "complex issues underlying the current refugee crisis", and welcoming two scholars to the university, which amounts to £195,000 over three years.

Recent figures showed the UK received one in thirty of all the asylum claims made by new applicants in European Union countries between April and June.

Germany received by far the greatest share of first-time applications, with 80,935 - or more than one in three (38%) of the total lodged in the bloc over the three months. They were followed by Hungary with 32,675, or 15%, and Austria, with 17 395, or 8%.

In an open letter, Warwick's vice chancellor Professor Sir Nigel Thrift and its provost Professor Stuart Croft, wrote: "We strongly believe that we as a university community have an inherent responsibility to try to shape a more accepting society, and we must never neglect that responsibility.

"We will work unstintingly to support those who need a welcoming hand in this very difficult time."

The Vice-Chancellor of the York University, Professor Koen Lamberts, said: “The University of York has a long history of offering a place of safety for people caught up in conflict and in need of refuge.

"Our commitment to helping refugees reflects the university’s core values of justice and equality. We are facing a major refugee crisis in Europe and the University of York will play its part in providing a safe and secure environment for displaced people to study, research and prosper."