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Improving Access to Higher Education & Employment for Forced Migrants

English Welsh

The Open University logo

Celebrating a decade of Swansea City of Sanctuary

A Conference in Partnership with The Open University

Swansea City of Sanctuary 10thAnniversary Logo

What are the main barriers to Higher Education and Employment for forced migrants?

What good practices and policies are needed to overcome these barriers?

How can Wales become a true Nation of Sanctuary?

Date: Monday, 14 June, 2021 - 10:00 to 17:00
Location: Virtual Conference, Microsoft Teams Meeting

This conference aims to improve access to higher education and employment opportunities including the role of further education for forced migrants in Wales and beyond. It will identify key barriers and solutions to these barriers. It brings together policy-makers, asylum seekers and refugees, researchers and academics, and community organisations to debate these matters 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.


Following the conference we will write a report documenting the main obstacles for those living in Wales and how they might be resolved. We will bring an actionable set of recommendations to politicians and to Welsh Assembly Members as they contemplate what it might mean to become a Nation of Sanctuary. Our aim is to find practical ways forward, and to support policy-makers with evidence-based proposals. We aim to provide clear guidelines as to what viable educational and employment pathways and infrastructures might look like and the vital role that Further Education is a vital stepping stone in pathways both to HE and employment. Together we 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.

Our Partners

University of South Wales logo
Welsh Refugee Coalition logo

University of Sanctuary logo
Gower College Swansea logo

City of Sanctuary logo
Chronicles from the margins project logo

Swansea City of Sanctuary logo
Swansea University logo
University of Wales Trinity Saint David logo

4 the region working together logo
The Open University logo with the Wales ribbon