Cara (the Council for At-Risk Academics) is an organisation committed to helping at-risk academics faced with circumstances of violence and persecution. Cara does this through providing urgently-needed help to academics in immediate danger, those forced into exile, and many who choose to continue work on in their home countries despite serious risks, while also supporting higher education institutions whose work is at risk or compromised.
All around the world, people start their academic careers with high hopes of learning, and of using their new knowledge to help others. For some, however, those dreams turn to nightmares, because of persecution, violence and conflict. Every year, Cara receives hundreds of requests for help from desperate academics, in immediate danger of arrest, injury or even death.
In partnership with universities and research institutes, learned societies and other like-minded organisations, as well as many academics and other individuals, Cara offers practical and financial help, and assistance to reach a place where they can continue their work in safety with their families. In these ways Cara helps both individuals and learning and scholarship more broadly.
Cara also operates groundbreaking regional programmes to help those trying to work on in their countries, despite the risks, and those forced into exile in the surrounding region. The support of the 135 universities and research institutes that make up our UK Universities and Research Network is central to the effective delivery of Cara’s work. Cara also develops relationships with a growing number of universities abroad, in Europe and beyond.
The organisation works within a nuanced understanding of the international and political complexities of supporting academics in countries or cultures which are under immense stress or oppression. Cara is at an exciting moment of transition involving new funding partnerships and collaboration, which will significantly expand the reach and subsequent impact of its work.