As part of Refugee Week 2021, Dr Mike Chick, a lecturer in teacher education, shares his thoughts on how universities can do more to help people seeking sanctuary in the UK – and why this is more urgent now than ever before.
“Each year since 2015, approximately 30,000 people who have been forced to flee their countries begin a claim for asylum in the UK. This figure is significantly smaller than the number of people provided with sanctuary in other EU countries..
..not only does the UK provide sanctuary to far fewer refugees than its closest neighbours, but the situation is set to deteriorate when the Home Office rolls out its New Plan for Immigration. The plan includes rules that stipulate the forced return of anyone seeking asylum, had they previously passed through a country deemed safe. One of the issues with this, aside from its shirking of global responsibility, is that the UK has not yet managed to reach an agreement with any country to enforce this plan.”
“Is your Uni doing all it can?
So, is your university doing all it can to support people seeking safety in the UK from danger or persecution? Do you have a scholarship scheme that also supports the language development of sanctuary scholars? Do issues surrounding refugees and asylum seeker students get reported / recognised in Strategic Action Plans? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then it is worth considering the profound impact such schemes can have on individuals’ lives and communities. If you’d like to know more about how to get a sanctuary scheme started, read this advice, get in touch or download Language Provision and Sanctuary Scholarship Schemes: a case study from a Welsh university”
You can read the full blog here
You can access the Case Study from a Welsh University resource here
Dr Mike has worked in language teaching for over 25 years. At the University of South Wales, he is a lecturer in ESOL teacher education and is the University Refugee Champion. His research interests surround the organisation and provision of language education for people forced to seek safety in Wales.
Huge thanks to Dr Mike Chick and staff at the University of South Wales for their work in supporting people seeking safety, and for providing this great resource for universities and colleagues in the HE and FE education sector.