Effective practice advice
Providers should consider how they can tailor their activities to improve access and participation for refugees.
Activities could include:
1. Improving data
Very little is known about the numbers of refugees in higher education. Providers should make efforts to improve the data they hold on the refugee status of prospective and current students to help them tailor support.
2. Providing accommodation for the whole year
Refugees may have concerns about where they will live during their studies, which may put them off applying for or continuing with higher education.
Providing accommodation for the whole year, including out of term-time, may be beneficial for these students.
3. Providing a named contact
Refugees may benefit from having a named person or point of contact within the university to help them to coordinate support between services and departments.
This may be particularly helpful if there is a language barrier which is making accessing support difficult for the student.
These members of staff should be provided with training to help them understand the specific needs of refugees.
4. Ensuring financial support is accessible
Providers should ensure they can provide this group of students with up-to-date and comprehensive information and guidance about their tuition fee status and eligibility for financial support. As eligibility for support is linked to immigration status this can be a particular concern for refugees.
Asylum seekers are not eligible for student finance and as such may require additional support from providers.
5. Becoming a University of Sanctuary
A growing number of UK universities are now being recognised as Universities of Sanctuary due to their commitment to creating a culture of welcome for people seeking sanctuary within, and beyond, their campuses.
The City of Sanctuary network has produced a resource pack to support universities with the process of being recognised as a University of Sanctuary. It includes detailed information on how a university can:
- meet the requirements to learn about sanctuary
- embed this learning in their provider
- share their learning and opportunities with the wider community.
There are several case studies and links to more resources.