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Forced Migrants in Higher Education: A Manifesto for Change

10 May 2021 - 30 July 2021

PI/s in Exeter: Dr Ben Hudson

Research partners: Professor Nick Gill (Geography).

Funding awarded: £ 5,930

Sponsor(s): SSIS ADR Discretionary Fund

About the research

People who have been forced to migrate face interruptions to all aspects of their lives, but perhaps the most devastating concern education. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), only 3% of refugees presently access higher education (HE), this compared to a 37% global HE access rate. Consequent to the heightened exposure of media attention given to forced migration during the so-called “refugee crisis”, UK higher education institutions have responded promisingly by offering increased numbers of what are now commonly termed “sanctuary scholarships” to students from forced migration backgrounds. The sector’s overall response nevertheless remains uncoordinated, piecemeal and under-ambitious. It is within this context that this project seeks to kickstart research that examines and critiques this new landscape, with the intention of catalysing a needed step-change in the engagement of HEIs with students from forced migration backgrounds.

Two primary activities will be delivered within the scope of this project:

1. The writing and publication of a cross-discipline scoping review and research needs report.

2. A two-day hybrid-enabled workshop attended by a consortium of experts (including experts by experience).