Friday, June 21, 2019

Meeting our new STAR leaders for 2019/20!

Recently elected STAR group leaders came together in London on 8th June to share skills and learn how to run successful student groups at our annual Student Activist Training 2019.image

Getting everyone up to speed on asylum and refugee protection

Emily Crowley, who became STAR’s director in January 2019, kicked off the day with an overview of the global refugee crisis, highlighting the recent movement of thousands of people in South and Central America as a result of extreme violence, the ongoing but often forgotten conflicts in Africa, the continuing political unrest, war and mass displacement across the Middle East and the plight of the Rohingya people who are forced to leave Myanmar.

Afterwards students learned about the UK asylum system with an interactive activity with some of the challenges that people seeking refugee protection may face as they navigate this complex system.

Getting the STAR message across

Students took a brief look back at the history of STAR and a look forward to the celebrations we have for STAR’s 25th birthday. Started in 1994 at Nottingham University by Andy Davies, in 2002 STAR became a charity with 10 student groups.

Two years later, STAR launched its first campaign called ‘Asylum policy is pants’ and in 2008 the Equal Access campaign was launched. This campaign is just one inspiring example of the impact that students have: there are now 66 universities offering scholarship to people from refugee backgrounds!


‘It was good to reflect on how we could personally be affected by it [single-storying people] and how therefore it can be applied to those seeking refugee status.’ – STAR student activist

There were plenty of varied workshops that equipped students with the tools and knowledge necessary to run successful groups. Students took part in a new workshop exploring identity, labelling and the positive impact an intersectional approach to the work they do for the STAR network.


Finally, the Pitch Perfect workshop gave students a safe space to create, practise and improve the way in which they communicate what STAR is all about to others. Many students stepped outside of their comfort zone to better their pitch saying “it worked really well, mostly because of how practical and targeted it was. Good prep for freshers!”

Simple Acts, Small Charities Week: the wider movement

We continued with our annual celebration of Refugee Week by taking part Simple Acts stations at lunch time. This year, students were also encouraged to help STAR to enter the Small Charities Week social media competition by telling us why they loved STAR.

Our second annual Comet Awards

It was the second year of Comet Awards, STAR’s tiered award system which aims to celebrate STAR students’ achievements. We we’re pleased to announce 3 winners: ULIP STAR and KCL STAR for winning bronze Comet Awards and to LSE STAR for a Silver Comet Award (for the second year).

STAR is so pleased with all the work that these groups have done throughout the year in order to make the UK a more welcoming place to people from refugee backgrounds!


STAR students do incredible work to create a more welcoming environment here in the UK. With such great committees members in place, we can’t wait to see what 209/20 has to share, especially as it’s our 25th birthday!

Posted by STAR team on 21/06/2019 at 01:26 PM