Our strategic plan defines International as: ‘Engage in outward-looking projects, and bring Scotland’s expertise to the world.’ We are pleased to be able to work in partnership with our sister Young Academies worldwide, as well as other international-facing organisations.

Many of our projects include an international element, and we seek to be outward-looking in all our work.

Explore our work

Mosul Book Bridge

YAS member Dr Alaa Hamdon started the Mosul Book Bridge campaign with the goal of re-stocking Mosul University Library, which was destroyed by IS after their occupation of Mosul in 2014.  He has been joined by YAS members and partners at University College London and Book Aid International to rebuild and restock Mosul University Library

“The library was the heart of Mosul University, and it was like a lighthouse of knowledge for Mosul. . . There were more than one million publications and books housed in the library, so [the damage done to the library] was devestating.”

Book Aid International has been working closely with Mosul Book Bridge to source new books specific to Mosul University’s needs and arrange shipment of these materials to Mosul- a considerable logistical challenge, as there are many security challenges to consider in shipping these materials.

You can hear Alaa discussing this project on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row programme via BBC iPlayer here (Alaa’s interview begins 19 minutes in to the show). To learn more about this initiative, please visit the Mosul Book Bridge website.  If you wish to make a monetary donation to the initiative please visit this page on the Book Aid International website.

At-Risk Academics & Refugee Membership

In 2016, we decided to recognise the rights of academic researchers and practitioners fleeing conflict by introducing the At-risk Academic and Refugee Membership initiative (ARAR). This programme was the first of its kind worldwide, and has since been adapted by the Global Young Academy.  YAS has committed to continuing this initiative at least through our 2020 membership round.

The ARAR programme supports refugee, migrant, and asylum-seeking professionals to become YAS members to:

  1.  Recognise their potential  to make outstanding and meaningful contributions to the future prosperity of Scotland;
  2.  Providing access to the YAS network as full members;
  3.  Helping them regain some of the social and professional capital that they lost during their displacement.

A dedicated application form is made available to ARAR membership applicants, which considers the unique challenges faced by displaced persons.  This application waives the requirement for references for ARAR applicants, and instead shortlisted applicants are invited for an interview with current YAS members.

YAS subscription and induction fees for ARAR members are also waived, and all YAS travel and subsistence expenses accrued by ARAR members are covered by YAS.

In 2017, we conducted a review of this programme, the results of which may be found here.

Brexit: the impact on Scotland

One year on from the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the EU, the Young Academy of Scotland released a report giving an overview of how Brexit will affect many aspects of Scottish society.  This report may be found here.

YAS followed this up with a report on the impacts of Brexit on health and wellbeing.  This report can be found here.

YAS also collected case studies on the impact of Brexit on research, innovation, and higher education.  We released a preliminary report of our findings here.

University-Prison Partnerships in International Perspectives

This workshop explored how universities across the globe are engaging those in prison and criminal justice settings. With participants from over ten Universities, the workshop offered a forum to learn about innovative practices and to share ideas about developing these and maximising impact. It featured keynote presentations by Professor Lori Pompa (Temple University, USA), who founded the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Programme, a programme in which university courses are taught in prisons and attended both by (outside) university students and (inside) prisoner students; and Professor Fiona Measham (Durham University) who has overseen the very first application of this initiative in the UK.

For more information about this YAS event, please see this article

Links with international Young Academies

YAS is pleased to be part of a growing network of young academies throughout Europe and further afield.

Representatives of YAS participate in annual meetings of the European Young Academies and the Worldwide Young Academies to inform our international colleagues of our work, learn about the work of our international counterparts and identify areas for international collaboration.