Tuesday, November 26, 2019

UK universities pledge for refugee access on World Access to Higher Education Day

Education is life changing but worldwide only 3% of young refugees have access to higher education compared with 37% of young people globally. UK universities or organisations have joined together with institutions all over the world and have made a commitment to change this.

Student Action for Refugees and City of Sanctuary are calling on higher education institutions and refugee education organisations to pledge towards the UNHCR goal of 15% of refugees in higher education by 2030

The pledge which 39 universities and organisations have signed is a commitment to continue and expand their work on access to higher education for people seeking refugee protection. In the UK over 70 universities offer some form of bursary or scholarship to help refugee and asylum seeking students access higher education.


The pledge has been signed by senior staff at UK universities and institutions. You can find a full list of the signatories here

The pledges will be announced at the Global Refugee Forum in December set up to monitor the commitments signed by states in the 2018 Global Compact for Refugees

Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, said:

“We are proud to stand with organisations around the world who share the values we have cherished since our founding. We were the first British university to offer scholarships to victims of apartheid through our Mandela Scholarships, and these continue to this day. By signing this pledge, we are reaffirming our commitment to providing an education lifeline for oppressed people across the globe.”

Signatories include: University of Bradford, Birkbeck, University of London, University of Bristol, Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, De Montfort University, University of East Anglia, University of Essex, University of Exeter, University of Glasgow, University of Hull, Kingston University, The University of Leicester, University of Lincoln, University of Liverpool, The University of Manchester, Newcastle University, The University of Northampton, University of Nottingham, University of Reading, University of Roehampton, Sheffield Hallam University, University of St Andrews, University of Stirling, University of South Wales, University of Sussex, University of Warwick, University of Winchester, York St John University and the University of York. Organisations who have signed include – Refugee Support Network, National Union of Students, Refuaid, STAR, City of Sanctuary, Huddersfield Students’ Union and the Bayswater Foundation

“We’ve been campaigning for improved access to university for refugees and people seeking asylum for over 10 years. Thanks to the commitment of these institutions we are seeing our dream of a society where refugees have equal access to education become reality! We see first-hand how life changing being able to go to university can be on an individual level, but we also know that everyone benefits if you give people the opportunity to be part of society and contribute” STAR’s Chief Executive, Emily Crowley

STAR representatives will be going to Global Refugee Forum to promote access to higher education for refugee students and put the power of students to create equal access on an international stage!

Posted by STAR team on 26/11/2019 at 04:00 AM