Campaign with STAR

STAR campaigns to improve conditions for asylum seekers and refugees through online actions, flashmobs, petitions, lobbying MPs and attention-grabbing stunts.

The STAR network is a national charity made up of 27,000 students across over 40 universities who campaign to improve the lives of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. With activists across a number of cities in England, Scotland and Wales, we are the biggest refugee rights campaigning network in Britain!

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STAR’s current campaigns

Equal Access

We want people who are in the UK because they are fleeing persecution to be able to join us at university. This will only happen if they are classed as home students and are given access to bursaries and scholarships open to other vulnerable people.

STAR is leading a campaign in partnership with NUS to ensure that asylum seekers have Equal Access to higher education.

Information about our Equal Access campaign and ideas for how to implement the campaign can be found in our Equal Access toolkit. Before taking steps towards Equal Access, please contact our Access to University Coordinator [email][/email].

Safe Routes Save Lives

The world is facing the biggest refugee crisis since WWII. Thousands of people have drowned in the Mediterranean while trying to reach safety in Europe. We want the UK to ensure routes to safety for refugees and save lives by: Allowing refugees to safely join family members in the UK; Providing sanctuary to our fair share of refugees arriving in Europe; Significantly increasing the number of resettlement places available to refugees; Helping ensure there are adequate search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

Why campaign for refugees?

People fleeing war, torture and persecution face many difficulties in the UK from the increasingly harsh legislation successive governments have introduced, the complicated and confusing process for deciding who should be granted asylum and hostility from the public.
We believe that these negative attitudes and policies are very damaging to refugees, asylum seekers and the wider community; they work against humanitarian principles and prevent community cohesion and do not uphold Britain’s commitment to the UN Refugee Convention. For example:

  • There are very few safe and legal routes to the UK for asylum seekers. Instead they are forced to make dangerous and expensive journeys to seek safety
  • Around a third of decisions to refuse asylum are overturned on appeal.
  • Asylum seekers are not allowed to work and must live on £37.75 per week.
  • Thousands of people who are refused asylum have all their support removed and are left destitute and reliant on charities such as the British Red Cross for handouts.
  • Asylum seekers must pay overseas fees at most universities and are not eligible for student finance.

How does STAR campaign?

STAR Groups Campaigning Together – Making our voice heard

STAR is made up of thousands of dedicated and creative student activists calling for a change to the policies and laws that damage the lives of refugees and asylum seekers.

Campaigning for change requires a clear message given in a clear voice. To ensure our voice is heard STAR members campaign together through the STAR network, co-ordinated and supported by the STAR team. Each spring the whole network gets together to campaign on the same issue in our Campaign Action Week

Each year we focus on a few important topics so that our message is heard clearly. STAR members decide which issues to campaign on through consultations convened by the STAR team.

Campaigning Partnerships – Making our actions count


STAR is part of a wider movement of activists working to improve the lives of refugees in the UK. By working together we can make an even bigger difference, so STAR works closely with our friends, including:

UNHCR; Refugee Council; Refugee Action; Amnesty International UK; National Union of Students (NUS)

This means that STAR members become part of something bigger and can time and theme their campaign actions to make the greatest impact!

Campaigning Focus

Campaigning is STAR’s highest profile activity in the public eye. To be effective it is important to maintain clear and focused messages. As a charity STAR also has a legal responsibility to campaign only on those issues that are stated as our charitable objectives.

If your STAR group is planning a campaign not supported by the STAR network it is important that you discuss this with the STAR National team first.