Syrian teenager awarded FULL SCHOLARSHIP to study at Cambridge

Hundreds of students signed an open letter to put pressure on the university

News Refugee Access scholarship University of Cambridge

In the early hours of Saturday morning, Abdullah Kattineh, the Syrian teenager fundraising to afford his place at Cambridge, posted an update to his GoFundMe page, announcing he has been awarded a full scholarship to study at the university.

In just two days, Abdullah's story has provoked an outpouring of support from the student body. Not only has his fundraising page received over $3,000 in donations, hundreds of students have also backed the cause by signing an open letter to Graham Virgo, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education.

The post read: "While this campaign main cause was to allocate the funds for my studies at Cambridge, it has gone far beyond that; it has given me new friends, new family, and…. a full scholarship. YES YOU READ IT WELL!!

"I have received a phone call from Dr. Michael Sutherland- admissions tutor at Corpus Christi College, stating that the college really supports my cause and they have successfully created a full scholarship for me, which include the living costs and the tuition fees for my studies!! The scholarship was funded by the Cambridge Trust and Corpus Christi College."

The first demand of the open letter created by Cambridge students was to provide Abdullah with a full scholarship to cover tuition and living costs for the duration of his course, which has now been met.

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Full demands of the open letter.

The letter says: "So far, across the collegiate university, 24 J/MCRs have passed a motion endorsing the Cambridge Refugee Scholarship Campaign (CRSC) – a student group which launched in October 2017 in response to the devastating impact that the ongoing refugee crisis has had on the pursuit of education.

"Cambridge’s efforts to increase access to the university for those from underrepresented groups should not just be limited to students from the UK."

A spokesperson for CRSC spoke to The Tab, adding they will be meeting with the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education and the Director of Development next Friday where they aim to set up a scholarship programme for refugees.

They said: "We hope we will be able to discuss setting up a long-term, sustainable scholarship scheme for refugees and students like Abdullah whose education has been severely affected for political and/or humanitarian reasons.

"It has been a huge privilege to have been involved in this process. Abdullah has inspired us in ways we cannot put into words and we are certain that he will continue to do so once he starts at Cambridge with his kindness, humility and determination."

Following this update, Abdullah has lowered the fundraising goal, adding what has been raised so far will be used to cover the expenses involved with coming to Cambridge that are not be covered by the scholarship, such as a tier-4 visa, medical insurance and plane tickets.

He said: "Without you, my story would've never reached the college this way. Your sincere voices have fully achieved my dream, and I would spend ages trying to express what this chance means to me and would never manage to.

"I'll just say that my future achievements at Cambridge will highlight a portion of my gratitude for your support."

The Cambridge Tab look forward to welcoming you in October, Abdullah!