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Archived Event: Universities event in collaboration with STAR and Birkbeck

This event has already taken place, and is shown here for information only.

Date: 15 Sep 2021

Time: 13:00 – 14:00

Venue: Online

Adult education, Asylum matters, Colleges, ESOL, Sanctuary Ambassadors, Universities, Welcome

Join us for a short film screening and panel discussion about the benefits of opening access to higher education to people seeking sanctuary

Register for this event

About this event

For Janahan Sivanathan, a refugee from Sri Lanka who was caught in the asylum process for years, access to university gave him, in his words, ‘a road to travel’. He entered Birkbeck thanks to its award-winning Sanctuary Scholarship programme, gained refugee status, and has just completed his LLB as a home student. He’s been an active student leader, has already secured a full-time job in his field, and is committed to helping others access university. Like so many Sanctuary Scholars, Janahan has had a hugely positive impact on his university, enriching both student life and academic culture.

This event will begin with a screening of A Road to Travel (12 minutes, dir. Anna Konik), featuring Janahan and six other Sanctuary Scholars speaking about their university experience.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion including two Sanctuary Scholars and two senior leaders from universities who run Sanctuary programmes. The panel will address the many positive impacts that opening access to higher education to people seeking sanctuary can have on the universities who create these opportunities. Sanctuary scholarship programmes provide not only students but also universities with ‘a road to travel’, towards true inclusivity and internationalism.

The event will be of interest to all those who seek to establish or expand Sanctuary Scholarship programmes at their universities, allowing access to UK residents who are blocked from accessing government loans because of their immigration status and hostile environment policies. If you are looking for strong positive arguments to make in favour of these programmes – ways of convincing the senior management of your institution to commit resources and take action – this is the event for you.

Please note

This event will be followed by a workshop for those interested in practical nuts and bolts guidance on setting up Sanctuary Scholarships, on 29 September, 1-2pm. For more information and to register for the follow-up workshop, please click here.

Both events will be recorded and available as a resource.

Co-organised by Student Action for Refugees, Universities of Sanctuary, and Birkbeck, University of London.


Photo credit: Still from A Road to Travel: film and copyright by Anna Konik and Józefina Gocman