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28 February 2020

Citizens UK name King's as first 'Refugees Welcome University'

Citizens UK has recogised King's for its contribution to the global issue of forced displacement and the educational potential of refugees.

PADILEIA graduates.

Citizens UK has announced King’s College London as the UK’s first ‘Refugees Welcome University’ in recognition of its contribution to understanding and responding to the global issue of forced displacement in order to realise the educational potential of refugees. 

The Refugees Welcome accreditation scheme recognises universities that have made a commitment to welcome forced migrants into their institution and community, offer a comprehensive programme of education and research on migration, and develop an action plan to improve the lives of forced migrants in the UK. 

In addition to a migration research programme and inclusion into the curriculum of issues faced by migrants, King’s offers a scholarship scheme for forced migrants in the UK, leads the development and delivery of PADILEIA (an online educational programme for forcibly displaced people in the Middle East), and is working to bring a family to the UK under the UK’s Community Sponsorship Scheme.  

This new sponsorship project, which is led by Professor Bronwyn Parry, Head of the School of Global Affairs and Director of the Sanctuary Programme, and Dr Leonie Ansems de Vries, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, brings together experts from the UK Home Office, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHRC) and partners in the region to resettle a displaced student and their family eligible for resettlement in the UK.  

King’s will become the sponsoring community, providing the family with structured all-round support and a fully-funded undergraduate scholarship to enable the student to further their education at a world-leading university. Working to ensure education remains a right for all, these innovative programmes give those most adversely affected by conflict and displacement unrivalled opportunities to rebuild their lives and careers and to fulfil their potential. 

Forced migration particularly impacts young people, disrupting their education and potentially creating a ‘lost generation’ with limited prospects. Kings is committed to building new partnerships with refugees and their families that offer important new opportunities for renewal, sustainment, and growth that are of great benefit to both the families and the UK.

Professor Bronwyn Parry, Head of the School of Global Affairs and Director of the Sanctuary Programme, at King’s College London

Through its initiatives that not only provide educational resources for refugees but in engaging staff, students and the wider community, King’s is leading the way in how universities can provide support for refugees. King’s is tackling this issue at a local and global level and we look forward to continuing our work with them.

James Asfa, Lead Organiser for Citizen’s UK South London

King’s has also been recognised for its world-class research on the issues facing refugees, migration, and borders through a range of research centres, projects and events, which actively engage King’s staff and students as well as the wider community. Recent projects include Moving Hearts, Enacting Border Security In The Digital Age and Migrant Voices in London. King’s also hosts the Migration Research Group and the Centre for Migration and Resettlement. 

We are very proud that our partnership with Citizen’s UK will lead to such a life-changing project for individuals affected by conflict. Our initiatives to ensure refugees are not deprived of an education are so important to our community. It is vital that people who have been forcibly displaced are able to resume their studies and to develop transferable skills for their futures and King’s will continue to harness its expertise in education for the benefit of society.

Professor Edward Byrne AC President & Principal of King’s College London

In this story

Bronwyn Parry

Visiting Professor

Edward Byrne

Former President & Principal of King's College London

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