University of Oxford offers first funded master’s degree course to Afghan woman

Scholarship provides opportunity for student to escape threat of violence

Oriel College has partnered with the Yalda Hakim Foundation to offer a fully funded master’s degree course to a woman from Afghanistan. Getty Images
Oriel College has partnered with the Yalda Hakim Foundation to offer a fully funded master’s degree course to a woman from Afghanistan. Getty Images

The University of Oxford is for the first time offering a fully funded master’s degree course to a woman from Afghanistan.

The Yalda Hakim Foundation, a charity supporting young women in Afghanistan, teamed up with Oxford’s Oriel College to offer the one-year course to the Afghan student who might otherwise miss out on the opportunity to study.

Almost two decades since the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan remains one of the worst places in the world for girls to go to school, with attacks against female students and their teachers.

The foundation said an estimated 3.7 million children are out of school in Afghanistan, with 85 per cent of them girls. In Taliban-controlled areas, many schools remain closed.

Afghanistan’s universities are also dangerous, with armed guards at many institutions as the threat of fatal shootings and kidnappings remains high.

Yalda Hakim, a Kabul-born journalist with BBC World News, helped broker the scholarship to offer one Afghan woman the opportunity for an excellent education free from the threat of violence.

She said she hoped the experience would be life-changing.

“The reality for a young woman living in Afghanistan today is that they are lucky if they can even get to university,” she told The Telegraph.

Oriel provost Lord Mendoz said: “We are so delighted to be partnering with the Yalda Hakim Foundation on this scholarship, which will provide a fantastic opportunity for a young Afghan woman to benefit from all of the wonderful opportunities that study at Oxford provides.”

The scholarship offer for the 2022-23 academic year will be based on academic merit and potential to a woman studying at a university in Afghanistan.

Published: March 29, 2021 01:36 PM

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