Reporter 439, 27 September 1999

Kosovo refugees settling in with University help

Refugees from Kosovo living in Leeds are being helped to rebuild their lives by the University. Two former students at the University of Pristina have enrolled this year to continue their studies and refugee workers throughout Leeds have been learning to speak Albanian at the Language Centre.

Kosovo aid: Syzana Peja, above, has enrolled into the School of Medicine for the year

Leeds was the first city in the UK to receive people fleeing the conflict in Kosovo and the University immediately released funds and established a special group to discuss ways in which it could work with the City Council and Park Lane College to help them settle in. The two students, Syzana Peja and Avni Gosalki, registered with the University last week; Ms Peja to study medicine and Mr Gosalki for chemistry. To further help Mr Gosalki and Ms Peja, who hopes to return to Pristina at the end of the year, the Language Centre has been boosting their English skills with a series of classes over the summer.

Altin Ismaili, above, has been helping refugee workers learn Albanian through the Language Centre

Both the medical school and the chemistry department have been fully supporting their new students in their efforts.

The Language Centre has also been helping to break down the communication barriers by providing people working to support the refugees with lessons in Albanian, funded by the University with support from the Language Centre. Mr Altin Ismaili has been travelling from London to run the weekly course over the past two months.

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