Guest Post from Kelsey Clarke from Northampton STAR
Northampton STAR (Student Action for Refugees) and University of Sanctuary are both student led groups at the University of Northampton. They are currently prioritising a campaign called Equal Access.
WHAT is Equal Access?
STAR (Student Action for Refugees) and NUS (National Union of Students have teamed up to campaign for Equal Access to higher education for people seeking refugee protection in the UK. The campaigns are run by STAR groups at Universities across the UK and we have brought it to the University of Northampton because we believe the UK government policy around this topic needs to be changed. This change starts when Universities show solidarity towards those seeking refugee protection by providing scholarships/bursaries and Universities are!
WHY do we need Equal Access?
In England, Asylum Seekers face the following when it comes to Higher Ed:
• Classified as ‘overseas’ students and have to pay international student tuition fees.
• Cannot access student finance to cover the cost of tuition fees or living costs.
• Cannot work and if they have no money, must live on government support of just 36.95 per week. – HOW can they afford this?
!!!SYSTEMATICALLY EXCLUDED FROM ACCESSING HIGER EDUCATION!!!
“This Government want to give everybody, no matter what their background, the opportunity to go as far as their talents will take them, in a country that works for everyone. Our higher education institutions are crucial to giving people the power to determine their own futures. They present opportunities for individuals to better themselves – to broaden their knowledge base, sharpen their skills, and participate in the ground-breaking research that can make the future brighter for everyone.”
Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education, October 2016
HOW can you get involved and support?
University of Sanctuary Open Meeting
The event ‘University of Sanctuary – Open meeting’ aims to gather together all those across Northamptonshire to discuss and learn more about the University of Sanctuary initiative at the University of Northampton – in particular, the “Equal Access” campaign. This will be held at Newton Grand Hall, Avenue Campus.
Date: Thursday 8th February
Time: 17:00 – 19:00
Venue: Newton Grand Hall, Avenue Campus, University of Northampton
FB event link
Join Northampton STAR on the Students’ Union website or join our Facebook group or follow us on Twitter information on the campaign. Alternatively, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Students Union Website
Check out our video
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us and get involved. Keep your eye out!