Refugees and asylum seekers to experience university life at Keele

Share |
Posted on 07 February 2011

Refugees and asylum seekers in North Staffordshire are set to enjoy a five-day series of events with student and staff volunteers at Keele University.

Shifting Landscapes will take place from February 21 to February 25 – National Student Volunteering Week – and will see Keele students and staff working together with the participants to create a rich cross-cultural experience and sharing of knowledge.

Funded by alumni donations to the Keele Key Fund and supported by Keele’s volunteering organisation VE@Keele, Shifting Landscapes will include a wide range of activities, including art projects, academic lectures, language classes, sports and music.

Participants, who come from the Afghani, Kurdish and African communities among others, have been recruited via Newcastle-under-Lyme-based arts charity B Arts, the Rafiki Centre (ASHA) in Hanley, and the Tawananyasha Widows and Orphans Christian Organisation (TWOCO), also based in Hanley.

Dr Emma Dawson, of Keele University’s Learning Development Unit, said: “Some of the asylum seeker and refugee community have experience of higher education in the countries which they have had to leave behind. There is also a large proportion of the community that would benefit from the opportunity to experience a UK university.

“Keele University is committed to the wider concerns of society, to equal opportunities and to widening participation in higher education, and we look forward to welcoming our guests onto campus.”

Shifting Landscapes is being held as part of Keele’s International Festival, taking place throughout February.