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Jessica Booth
July 03, 2018 9:06 am

A university in the United Kingdom is not here to play with anyone who questions one of their latest initiatives. The University of Reading had an epic response to people who were angry about their scholarship for refugees, and honestly, we vote this for subtle clapback of the year.

In June, the University of Reading announced that it was launching a new scholarship for the city’s refugee community in which 14 scholarships would be awarded to refugees living locally. As was probably expected, the university received a lot of feedback on their idea — some good and some negative. But to those who spoke against the plan, the university had a simple response, which it tweeted this week: “To these people, we would like to say: Tough. Jog on.”

It’s safe to say that the University of Reading deserves a slow-clap for this one. When the scholarship program was announced, the university released a statement in which they explained the school was developing a scholarship for refugees in partnership with Reading Refugee Support Group and Reading University Students’ Union.

From the beginning, the university stood proudly by this decision, with Professor Robert Van de Noort saying, "Universities are places for people from all over the world and from all walks of life. We welcome to Reading those fleeing violence and persecution in their own countries and we value the contribution those seeking sanctuary can make to the University and the town in general. The launch of these scholarships is another practical step the University has taken to welcome and integrate all people into our communities, our activities and our culture. We are proud and unapologetic to offer these scholarships, joining with institutions around the country offering support for refugees to access education, which is a welcome addition to our existing range of scholarships available for a variety of students."

Twitter users loved the university’s response:

We think Leen Al Najjab, Diversity Officer for Reading University Students’ Union, put it best when he said, “No matter who you are or where you are from, education should be an opportunity available to you. I am incredibly proud to be part of an institution and community that is breaking down barriers by providing an education to those fleeing war and persecution.”

We applaud Reading’s efforts and hope more universities can begin similar programs. Everyone deserves to feel welcome where they live.

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