Developing education-led pathways to resettlement
As part of a wider ambition to create education-led resettlement pathways, King’s worked in partnership with Citizens UK, the Home Office and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to be the first university to be accredited as a Community Sponsor through the UK Refugee Community Sponsorship Scheme.
In December 2021, King’s became the first UK university to resettle a refugee student and their family under this scheme, helping them to make London their new home. We are delighted that the student has received full funding to undertake an undergraduate degree in engineering at King’s in September 2022.
The King’s Refugee Support Team (KRES), a dedicated volunteer team from across the King’s community, secured housing for the family and have provided them with wrap-around support since their arrival, including accessing healthcare, school registration, benefits advice and English language support.
The King’s Refugee Community Sponsorship model is part of a longer-term, research-informed vision and commitment to develop a global sponsorship programme, including the development of safe pathways for students and academic whose studies or research has been disrupted due to conflict and/or displacement.
To achieve this vision, King’s has been working in partnership with other universities to support them in becoming Community Sponsors and to develop education-led pathways for forcibly displaced people worldwide. The war on Ukraine has made the rapid scaling of this work extremely urgent.
Responding to the invasion of Ukraine
Following the war on Ukraine, King’s partnered with Citizens UK to adapt the government’s ‘Home for Ukraine’ sponsorship scheme for university communities. Working with other strategic university partners, King’s has developed a University Refugee Community Sponsorship model that draws specifically on the strengths of higher education institutions and their communities to support Ukrainian students and academics.
This model will provide a blueprint for how university communities can work together to host displaced students and academics, and a set of resources and detailed guidance on how best to support hosts and refugees through that process.