Daily US Times: Afghan students who were to study in the UK from next month under UK government scholarships have been told they will not now be able to take up their places.
Chevening Scholarships enable promising students across the globe to pursue a masters degree in the UK.
But the British Foreign Office said the situation in Afghanistan meant the British Embassy there wouldn’t finish preparations in time for this year.
The British government’s decision has been criticised by two former Conservative cabinet ministers.
Chevening Scholarships, which are funded by the Foreign Office, are highly competitive and prestigious.s
But students from Afghanistan who have been awarded places for the scholarships coming academic year have been told the embassy in Kabul will not be able to complete the paperwork.
It comes as the Taliban fighters continue to seize more and more territory in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of US and othe international forces after 20 years of military operations.
David Lidington, the former Conservative cabinet minister, said on Twitter that the decision to withdraw the scholarships for Afghan students seemed both “morally wrong and against UK interests”.
He said: “Surely those accepted onto #Chevening will be at particular risk from Taliban & among “brightest & best” whom our government rightly wants to attract to UK,” adding that he hopes Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab would review the situation “urgently”.
Rory Stewart, former international development secretary, said it was “deeply disappointing” that visas could not be sorted out.
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