Hosted by Swansea City of Sanctuary in partnership with The Open University’s Professor of Sociology, Marie Gillespie, this conference on Monday 14th June at 10:00-17:00 aims to improve access to higher education and employment opportunities including the role of further education for forced migrants in Wales and beyond.
Marking the start of Refugee Week 2021, this event brings together policy-makers, asylum seekers and refugees, researchers and academics, and community organisations to identify the main barriers to Higher Education and Employment for forced migrants, and what practices and policies are needed to overcome these barriers. It will also consider how Wales can become a true Nation of Sanctuary, at a moment when Swansea not only celebrates a decade of being a City of Sanctuary, but also when the Welsh Government’s Nation of Sanctuary Refugee and Asylum Seeker Plan might be realised following elections in May 2021.
While Wales and Scotland are leading the way in challenging to the UK government’s ‘hostile environment’, the conference has important implications for the UK as a whole.
Discussions from the conference will shape a report documenting the main obstacles for those living in Wales and bringing an actionable set of recommendations to politicians and Welsh Assembly Members as they contemplate what it might mean to become a Nation of Sanctuary. This report will aim to realise the potential of forced migrants and close the gap between aspirations and realities.
Warm thanks to the late Heidi Hillman and her family for their generous donation in support of this conference. As a refugee, an Open University graduate and passionate advocate of life-long learning for all, Heidi would have fully embraced the ambitions of this conference.
Find out about Professor Marie Gillespie’s OU research project ‘COVID-19 Chronicles from the Margins’.
View our free resources created to support refugees around the world.