A student from Palestine is raising money to finish her PhD after her scholarship funding was cut-off by the British Council.

Rawand Abed, who has been completing her degree at the University of Roehampton, London, for the past three years, was originally on the prestigious HESPAL scholarship, which awards university places to Palestinians.

But recently Rawad's dream was jeopardised, as she was told that due to coronavirus the institution was in “financial crisis” and would no longer be able to sponsor her studies.

The 29-year-old faced many setbacks when she made the leap from the Gaza Strip to the UK in 2017. As a young person with her life ahead of her, Rawand said she was desperate to leave her war-stricken home.

“It was not the place live and dream. It was dangerous, I had to evacuate my house more than 7 times.”

“I wanted to study abroad before I got tied down to a job or started receiving marriage proposals.”

However, the conflict in Palestine complicated her visa process and she started term later then her peers - initially finding it hard to settle.

As a result, Rawand has dedicated her social linguistics PhD to researching the experiences of Palestinian students adjusting to the UK.

She has found that many students share feelings of culture shock when navigating different customs and systems without close family by their side.

Though Rawand planned to finish her work last academic year, like many students, the pandemic threw a spanner in her university learning.

Now, Palestine’s border has closed and without her stipend Rawand says she has found herself “stuck”, without her main source of income.

Many Palestinian students from different areas are returning home, but she says giving up her degree is “not an option”.

At first, Rawand says she was reluctant to set up a Go Fund Me, but the generosity of others is her last resort. Already, she has raised over £5,000 which is almost half her fundraising goal.

You can see her donation page here.