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KTH looks at support for researchers in Gaza

Woman in front of a wall.
Nina Wormbs, responsible for Scholars at Risk at KTH. (Photo: Sara Appelgren)
Published Jun 18, 2024

KTH is a member of the international network Scholars at Risk, SAR, which works to support researchers who are at risk.
Nina Wormbs, Vice Dean of Faculty and responsible for SAR at KTH, can KTH do anything for colleagues in Gaza?

"In parallel with student protests at many universities, KTH and its faculty have also asked themselves whether it is possible to support students, teachers and researchers in the Gaza Strip in any way. As it is an ongoing war, the situation is extraordinarily difficult, and it has also been challenging in the past."

KTH has been a member of Scholars at Risk  since 2017 and works with researchers at risk. KTH has helped around ten researchers through giving them short-term employment in various research groups at the schools. These have mainly been Ukrainians who came to Sweden after the outbreak of war in 2022.

And what about researchers from Gaza?

"It is more difficult to employ and help researchers at risk from the Gaza Strip because they cannot leave Palestine. There are reports that some have been able to get out, but the information is limited. KTH SAR will investigate whether it is possible to receive researchers from Palestine within the framework of SAR. This work is being done in discussion with the Swedish section of SAR, SAR Sweden, and the New York office."

Are there other ways, if they cannot leave Gaza?

"Yes, there are. We can see if affiliation can be beneficial for researchers in Gaza so that they can access library resources and other things. But even that is difficult to know. The destruction is so great that we don't really know today where our support is most useful."

Is there anything we can do for students?

"Hopefully there is. There has been a request for KTH to contribute to teaching in Gaza. We are also looking into that. The initiative that came from a Palestinian university in collaboration with a student organisation and an association of universities around the Mediterranean has received a great response. We will see if we can also contribute to that work, remotely. Through previous collaborations, we have some ideas on how this could be done in practice."

These issues will be discussed at the Scholars at Risk global conference to be held in Vilnius after midsummer. About ten Swedish representatives will attend and Nina Wormbs will participate digitally.

Belongs to: Current
Last changed: Jun 18, 2024