Refugees and displaced people

KCL presentation

Universities have an important role to play in supporting refugees and displaced people, with many actively working to widen access to higher education for these marginalised groups. 

Through our unique international network, the ACU convenes and engages the sector on this vital issue to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, ideas and best practice, to continue to support and provide sanctuary for refugees and at-risk scholars.

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The Commonwealth Peace and Reconciliation Network brings together an interdisciplinary collective of academics, researchers and professional staff from more than 40 universities across the Commonwealth, who work in the fields of peace, truth, justice, and reconciliation.

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Widening access to higher education

Extending the welcome’, a symposium convened in 2019 by the ACU in partnership with the University of Edinburgh and the British Council, brought together participants from a dozen countries across public, private and academic spheres to discuss the education gap faced by refugees and displaced people, and how universities can help bridge that gap. The key issues identified included:

  • Financial barriers
  • Structural barriers
  • The recognition (or lack thereof) of prior qualifications
  • The additional obstacles faced by refugee and displaced women
  • The impact of trauma and mental health issues on educational progression and overall wellbeing.

Download the full report

Following this symposium, the ‘Journeys to belonging’ event at King's College London showcased how universities are working to widen access to higher education for refugees and displaced people.

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Experts share their insights from research and programmes to support displaced people and refugees. 

The camp as archive: Refugees and ruins in Baddawi Camp

In this article, Prof. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Professor of Migration and Refugee Studies at University College London, UK, and Yousif M Qasmiyeh from the University of Oxford, UK, share their insights as leaders of The Camp as Archive project, highlighting how, though egalitarian archiving practices, researchers can help to build a more just, inclusive, and equal future for refugees in the world today.

Read the full article
Everyday Life In The Alleyways Of Baddawi Camp, (C) E. Fiddian Qasmiyeh (1)

Creating 'routes to belonging' for forced migrants in higher education

Dr Rebecca Murray reflects on over 15 years' work to transform access to higher education for refugees and displaced people, during which she founded and acted as the Director of the Article 26 project, which worked in partnership with UK universities to create scholarships for forced migrant students. 

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Theme: Access and inclusion