Sanctuary

Sanctuary

The University of Kent is working to be a safe and welcoming place for refugees, asylum seekers, and others who are displaced or forced to migrate. 

Welcoming community

Home to students and staff from more than 140 countries across the world, we are an inclusive, welcoming and diverse community dedicated to learning and the student experience, research and innovation, and engaging with our communities whether local, regional, national or international.

We promote access to Higher Education for people who have fled persecution and sought asylum in the UK, providing support and scholarships through the Article 26 scheme.

Refugee Tales Project

Through books, walks and gatherings, the Refugee Tales project has been giving voice to asylum seekers and refugees in the UK since 2015.

Quotation

‘Refugee Tales are shared insights and experiences that not only serve to educate us all, but are also an opportunity to highlight the challenge that is still before us as we look to end the UK’s practice of indefinite detention".

Professor David Herd

Migration and Movement

The University has launched Migration and Movement, one of three Signature Research Themes, to play a leading role in debate and to advocate for evidence-based research around migration, its contexts, histories and benefits.  

Council for At Risk Academics

The University supports CARA (Council for At Risk Academics) in its work to provide urgently-needed help to academics in immediate danger, those forced into exile, and many who choose to work on in their home countries despite serious risks.

How we support

Through academic research, public engagement activities and collaborations with partners, we work hard to use our platform to be an advocate for tolerance and understanding and respect for all displaced people.  

Recent examples include:

  • hosting events such as the local leg of the largest public arts event in the world in 2021, ‘The Walk’, featuring Amal, a three-metre puppet of a young Syrian refugee girl travelling from the Middle East, through Europe to Scotland to raise awareness of the plight of refugees
  • academic events including books launches and other public engagement events

Our support for Ukraine

We are working on a number of urgent and practical steps in collaboration with local and national partners to support those impacted by the conflict in Ukraine.    

University of Sanctuary

We are currently developing an application to become a University of Sanctuary to join other universities in developing a network of like-minded institutions across the country.

In doing so, we will help develop further support for those seeking sanctuary, setting out a public action plan.  

This is being taken forward by our University of Sanctuary Steering Group which meets monthly to develop our approach and our public action plan. Please see this document for the group’s terms of reference and membership.