The Sanctuary University scheme is relatively new, but is growing rapidly, with universities across the country, from Winchester in the south to Edinburgh in the north enjoying Sanctuary University status. The scheme aims:
‘to inspire and support universities to develop a culture and a practice of welcome within their own institutions, in their wider communities, and across the Higher Education sector in the UK’.
I attended the Sanctuary Universities Conference hosted
by York St John last week.
The conference programme was an exciting mix of practitioner experience, research and students sharing their work and experiences. It was really moving to hear from students about the impact the Sanctuary awards had had on their lives, and great to see their talent and hard work on display as student members of the steering group co-chaired the event. Representatives of NGOs such as RefuAid and CARA shared their work on supporting refugee access to Higher Education.
Unfortunately Edge Hill is not a member of this supportive network, but all universities can access their resources, and the network continues to welcome new members.
On the day that the UK went to the polls in the European elections, the Action for Refuges network (AFR), in partnership with West Lancs CVS, hosted an activities day to welcome old and new refugees resettled in the surrounding areas. A set of friendly football matches were played on the 11-a-side pitch while off field visiting Phd student Matilda Lindburg from Malmo, Sweden, ran a circus skills workshop for those less inclined to 11-a-side.
The Refugee Support Network are currently accepting applications (until 27th May) for the ‘Westheimer Scholarship’, a funding opportunity for asylum seekers (up to aged 28) to pursue HE in health and social care, medicine, nursing or related professions.
Funding is available for up to 3 people each year for fees and living costs.
Maddy Robinson of STAR (Student Action for Refugees) will be speaking about the work of this national NGO, formed by students, which now makes up a national network. She will be discussing the diverse voluntary work carried out by students across the UK, and their influential campaign work including changing universities’ policies for HE Access.
Edge Hill was one of of the first universities to offer fee waivers for students unable to continue their studies due to their refugee status: STAR campaigns to ensure that access is supported and improved, reflecting the demands of students that their university is a place where everyone is welcome, and equality matters.
Find out how you can get involved at 1pm 22nd May E19 (FoE Lakeside)
With thanks for the support of I4P
What is STAR?
STAR is a national charity of 27,000 students welcoming refugees to the UK. Together we:
Volunteer at local refugee projects
Campaign to improve the lives of refugees
Educate people about refugees and asylum
STAR is made up of 46 groups at universities and colleges across the UK and a national team which co-ordinates and supports the groups. STAR groups are students’ union societies which are affiliated to the charity. The charity is governed by STAR’s Board of Trustees, elected annually by the students themselves.
Mohib Ullah, who is leading on the project for RefuAid told us, “We are working with one of our partner schools in Liverpool and will be starting an OET (Occupational English Test accepted by the General Medical Council as an alternative to IELTS for re-qualification) course for healthcare professionals after Easter. The course will be 6 hours a week and will initially run for 6 weeks, starting on Wednesday the 24th of April. We welcome applications from refugee/asylum seeker doctors, nurses and midwives etc. They can also email me in person at firstname.lastname@example.org I will be happy to answer any questions they may have. During the course, we will pay travel expenses up to £500, and the exam fee when applicants are deemed as exam-ready by their tutors.”
Action for Refugees think that this is a brilliant initiative with potentially great benefits to candidates and the communities they will serve. We wish RefuAid every success with this important programme.
Karen Morris sharing her collection of refugee-themed picturebooks at the AfR conference, 2017
Karen Morris writes
In schools and other settings, our graduates play a significant role in the lives of pupils and encounter personal, ethical and moral dilemmas which are often unconnected with the taught curriculum. They need to be able to draw on a teaching philosophy that is distinctive and personally informed but reflects ethical values and principles. Such a philosophy needs to be responsive to the demands of a changing world where social, political, economic and environmental issues have a significant impact on the lives of children and young people. As a primary English tutor this is a key part of my role in preparing future professionals. Continue reading →
Learn how to teach and support young people across the globe affected by violence, conflict or displacement.
This free, online course developed by the British Council is designed to help teachers support students who are dealing with trauma.
Experienced teachers talk about the challenges, what they have learnt and the strategies they have used when teaching migrant and refugee learners both in countries affected by conflict and in host countries. All teachers and volunteers working with refugees and migrant learners can find ideas and strategies that can be used to better understand learners. The course helps to build inclusive classrooms and develop learners’ confidence, taking into account the languages they know and their cultures. Click here to find out more.
Action for Refugees are delighted to welcome Anna Jones, RefuAid co-founder, to campus to speak about the innovative work of this award-winning NGO.
RefuAid was founded in 2015 in an effort to provide a practical response to forced migration for refugees and asylum-seekers living in the UK. Their primary focus is to provide solutions to the main barriers facing refugees trying to restart their life in the UK: finance, re-qualification and language tuition.
‘Children’s Literature About Refugees: A Catalyst in the Classroom’
DR JULIA HOPE, GOLDSMITHS COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
Monday 14th May 2018 at 1.00pm, Room E1
This seminar welcomes Julia Hope, author of, ‘Children’s Literature About Refugees: A Catalyst in the Classroom’. This book addresses one of our most pressing global issues – often called “the migrant crisis” – in a form accessible to younger children.
For child refugees to feel that their experiences are validated, and for others to understand their situation, engaging with the growing field of children’s texts on the subject is crucial. Teachers also need to be encouraged to find ways in to tackle such challenging topics, with fiction providing the perfect catalyst.
In exploring the use of Mary Hoffman’s The Colour of Home and Beverley Naidoo’s The Other Side of Truth in the classroom, this book is indispensable for educators in the younger age range, and for researchers who are interested in controversial children’s literature.
Organised by the Faculty of Education and sponsored by I4P, this event will take place in the Faculty of Education, room E1.