We are delighted to say that Oxford University has received the University of Sanctuary award in recognition of its sustained commitment to being a place of welcome for people who have been forcibly displaced around the world. The status recognises Oxford’s continued determination and initiatives to aid sanctuary seekers, whether they be students, staff or members of the local community.
Universities of Sanctuary make up a national network which collectively strives to make higher education institutions places of safety, solidarity and empowerment for people seeking sanctuary.
Alexander Betts, Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs and Director of the Refugee Studies Centre, said: “We want the University to be a place of welcome for people with displacement backgrounds. Being recognised as a University of Sanctuary is an important step on that journey. It reflects our shared commitment to increase scholarships for refugees, build awareness across the University, and collaborate with local community organisations that support asylum seekers and refugees. Refugees enrich our community through their skills and talents. The hope is that we can build upon this opportunity and do even more in future.”
About Universities of Sanctuary: Universities of Sanctuary is an initiative of the charity City of Sanctuary UK and a national network comprising of university staff, lecturers, academics and students, working together to make higher education institutions places of safety, solidarity and empowerment for people seeking sanctuary. Higher education institutions in the UK have a proud tradition of supporting refugees and people in the asylum system. Universities of Sanctuary supports the organisations that want to build on this tradition in today’s political and social context. This network has been developed through the integration of Article 26 Project resources with City of Sanctuary UK, and collaboration with Student Action for Refugees, Refugee Education UK, and others. The aim is to develop a culture and a practice of welcome within institutions, the wider community, and across the higher education sector in the UK.