Refugee Week

Posted by rmt22 at Jun 14, 2019 03:55 PM |
We are proud to support Refugee Week and World Refugee Day. Find out more about what we are doing to mark it.

Every 60 seconds, 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror. Refugee Week, which is being held from 17 to 23 June 2019, is part of the UK’s largest festival celebrating the contribution of refugees to British society through a programme of arts, culture and education.

It is held focused around World Refugee Day on 20 June 2019. The festival highlights the importance and benefits of sanctuary to those who seek it, as well as to those who provide sanctuary. We are proud of our status as one of only nine Universities of Sanctuary in the UK and of the staff and students who support this initiative. We recognise the ways in which refugees and asylum seekers can enrich our institution and we are committed to providing support and a genuine welcome.

As a University of Sanctuary, we provide a range of opportunities, not only for those who seek refuge in Leicester, but also for staff and students across campus to contribute to the provision of a welcoming and supportive environment. Take a look at the video below to see how this commitment is transforming lives.

Philip Horspool, Director of the English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) at the University of Leicester and Chair of the University of Sanctuary Steering Group, said: “Language is one of the many challenges facing those who leave their country. Here at the ELTU we have the will and expertise to help those for whom English is not their first language. Leicester has for a long time been a city that welcomes refugees, and with conflict still present in many areas of the world, is likely to welcome increased numbers in the coming months and years. I believe that helping those in the local community who need support is something that universities ought to do, and I’m delighted that in a small way we can offer our expertise and facilities.

“From the outset, we were committed to becoming a University of Sanctuary. At the launch event, we heard poetry readings and music from those seeking sanctuary as well as from campaigners. Our aim throughout has been to involve colleagues from across our University to support refugees and asylum seekers as well as actively involving refugees and asylum seekers in University life.”

Colleen Molloy, National Development Officer for City of Sanctuary, said: “Being a University of Sanctuary is more than a case of being welcoming – it is about embedding, in every layer of the University, a deep understanding of the need of refugees in order to ensure that lives and talents are not wasted, and to harness the fantastic contribution that refugees and asylum seekers can make to our society.”

Aleks Palanac, ELTU Tutor, said: “I’m excited to be part of this initiative, which aims to extend our ongoing work with refugees. We hope that our work there will result not only in more refugees gaining access to good-quality language provision, but that this will, in turn, open new doors in terms of access to other training opportunities.”

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