Journeys to belonging: what role for higher education?

To mark World Access to Higher Education Day on 26th November, the ACU is partnering with King’s College London on a one-day conference ‘Journeys to Belonging: what role for higher education?’

Journeys To Belonging Event Image
26 Nov 2019
Bush House, East Wing, King's College London
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To mark World Access to Higher Education Day on 26th November, the ACU is partnering with King’s College London on a one-day conference ‘Journeys to Belonging: what role for higher education?’

Panels and workshops throughout the day will examine the role universities play in supporting refugees and displaced people at different points in the journeys. Speakers will include representatives from higher education, governments and charities, as well as crucially bringing in the voices of scholars and academics who are themselves displaced.

This conference follows on from the ‘Extending the Welcome’ symposium held at the University of Edinburgh earlier this year.  

Register here

The conference will be followed by a book launch and drinks reception, celebrating the release of our Secretary General, Dr Joanna Newman’s new work – Nearly the New World: The British West Indies and the Flight from Nazism, 1933-1945 is the first full account of this crucial part of refugee history. 

The final plenary will reflect on the lessons learnt from the 1930s and how they can be applied to today’s refugee crisis – and crucially how this ties into the role higher education can play in supporting refugees and displaced people across the world. 

JN Book Launch Flyer
Welcome Remarks
9.00 – 9.15


Jonathan Grant, VP Service, King’s College London

Opening Plenary: Nearly the New World | Reflections on Journeys to Belonging
9.15 – 10.15

Chair: Dr Joanna Newman, Secretary General, ACU


His Excellency Mr. Manoah Esipisu, High Commissioner of the Republic of Kenya to the United Kingdom
Professor Funmi Olonisakin, King’s College London
Professor Michael Worton, University College London

First port of arrival: Reaching out to displaced students
10.15 – 11.15

Chair: Charley Wright, UNHCR Geneva


Christina Hajisoteriou, University of Nicosia
Tania Lima, King’s College London
Theresa Mwoma, Kenyatta University (BHER Project)
Rabih Shibli, American University of Beirut

Final Destinations
11.45 – 12.45

Chair: Dan Shah, Director of Research, British Council


Marit Egner, University of Oslo
Dr Katharina Schmidt-Göhrich, TU Dresden Healthcare Centre
TBC, Refugee Hub Ottawa
Stephen Wordsworth, Cara

Personal Journeys
13.30 – 14.00

Chair: Dr Faye Taylor, Head of Strategic Partnerships, ACU


Dr Abdulkarim Ekzayez, Chatham House
Ismail Sule, Commonwealth Scholar from South Sudan, Bangor University
Dr Ephraim Kisangala, Kairos Hospital, Uganda

Group activity – Meet the experts
14.00 – 15.30

Blended learning - Hannah Bond, King’s College London and Koula Charitonos, Open University/ Connected Learning in Crisis Consortium

Holistic support - Emily Bowerman and Katie Barringer, Refugee Support Network

Communites and inclusion - Chris Smart, Student Action for Refugees; Phanthip Saengathit, STAR student and Equal Access Scholar

Rapid Response Mechanisms - Helena Barrocco, Global Platform for Refugees

Closing Plenary: Bound for nowhere: what lessons do the 1930s have for today’s refugee crisis?
16.00 – 17.00


Dr Joanna Newman, Secretary General, ACU
Professor Michael Berkowitz, University College London
Stephen Wordsworth, Cara
Dr Toby Simpson, The Wiener Holocaust Library

NEARLY THE NEW WORLD: The British West Indies and the Flight from Nazism, 1933–1945
17.00 – 18.30

Dr Joanna Newman book launch and signing, followed by drinks reception

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