Press release

Humanitarian Scholar excels with Dundee support

Published on 21 June 2023

A Palestinian student who left his war-torn homeland to take up a Humanitarian Scholarship at the University of Dundee thanked all those who helped him settle in the city ahead of his Graduation.

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Bayan Alhasani (30) grew up with the Palestine-Israeli conflict raging all around him and his family home was bombed on three separate occasions in the last 15 years.  

Despite the hardship he and his family faced, Bayan thrived academically and completed an undergraduate degree in civil engineering. Looking to give himself the best chance to further his education, he began searching for opportunities abroad and eventually came across the University’s Humanitarian Scholarship.   

“At the time I started looking for scholarships, Gaza was under attack,” said Bayan. “We were also in the middle of a pandemic, and I had lost my job. Our home was partially destroyed. A lot of our savings had already gone into rebuilding it over the years. Without a scholarship there was little chance of me being able to further my studies.   

“I found out I had been accepted to study a Masters in Sustainability and Water Security at Dundee just as the 2021 war ended.”  

As part of the Humanitarian Scholarship, Bayan received full tuition fees and a stipend for accommodation and living costs. He arrived in Dundee after a difficult journey from Gaza and was instantly amazed by the support he received in the city.  

“I was met with kindness and had so many people in the University and elsewhere in the city help make me feel at home” he said. “The team at the University are fantastic and are always happy to help. I’ve been blown away by the support I have received from the Student Services team and beyond.  

“I’ve spoken to other Palestinian students in the UK and the support they were given from their institutions doesn’t match what I received in Dundee. I am so happy and proud to be graduating from this University. My first graduation took place in the middle of a war, but this will be a peaceful and happy occasion. Even though my family will not be able to attend, there are people in Dundee who have become like family to me, and my friends will be coming along to graduation with me.”

Bayan once again excelled academically at Dundee and he has been offered a PhD place at the University to study the impact of climate change on water security including Scotland and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, where he is from.

Bayan’s graduation comes in the middle of Refugee Week, the world’s largest celebration of the contribution, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary.

Dundee was last year awarded University of Sanctuary status, joining a network of institutions across the UK that support students displaced by humanitarian crises. Dozens of students from war-torn regions joined the University over 2022-23 thanks to the award of a record number of Humanitarian Scholarships.

Other initiatives at the University include engaging with the local refugee community to improve access to higher education. This project offers access to pre-sessional English Language classes to meet entry requirements and campus visits for younger refugees.


Grant Hill

Senior Public Affairs Officer

+44 (0)1382 384768