UoN awarded joint University of Sanctuary status with Nottingham Trent University


July 20th, 2022

The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University (NTU) have been jointly awarded University of Sanctuary status in recognition of their efforts to welcome and support refugees and forced migrants.

The successful bid was made as part of our collaboration with NTU through the Universities for Nottingham initiative, and makes Nottingham the first city where the universities have made a uniquely joint bid for University of Sanctuary status

A University of Sanctuary award is given to Higher Education institutions that can provide evidence of their commitment to developing initiatives that align with three core principles: learning, embedding, and sharing what it means to seek sanctuary and to ensure that the institution is a place of welcome.

Both universities, alongside their Student Action for Refugees (STAR) action groups, actively collaborate in their efforts to contribute to the most welcoming and accessible environment possible to people seeking sanctuary, contributing to a city-wide culture of welcome and support.

This commitment is reflected throughout the student lifecycle as part of research and teaching activity, as well as well-established partnerships with community organisations across the city and county through a wide range of public engagement and outreach programmes.

The commitment also forms part of the ‘Universities for Nottingham’ Civic Agreement 2020, where both institutions have identified support for the most vulnerable learners as a priority for the educational opportunity stream of work.

Joanna McIntyre, Cora Lindsay and Emma Szembek were part of the steering group responsible for putting together the bid on behalf of the University of Nottingham.

They said: “This award is a recognition of the important contribution that both universities make to enhance opportunities for sanctuary seekers in our city and those working to support them.

This was a collaborative effort, evidenced by the joint application with NTU, and the make-up of the steering group comprising staff, students, representatives from community groups working with refugees, and students from sanctuary seeking backgrounds.

The bid evidenced the wide-ranging activities linked to teaching and learning, research, staff and student citizenship and activism, and strategies to improve access for sanctuary seekers.

We look forward to realising our three-year plan to further develop this work with NTU, to ensure that sanctuary seekers within our communities experience a sense of welcome and opportunities to develop their skills, enrich their life experiences and realise their potential.

Vice-Chancellor at the University of Nottingham, Professor Shearer West CBE said:

“I am delighted to support the application by the city’s two universities for the University of Sanctuary award.

“When I was Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield, I witnessed the importance of its own Sanctuary award and the impact it made on staff, students and stakeholders across the city in galvanising their commitment to welcome and support refugees of all nationalities.

“And now as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, where Student Action for Refugees (STAR) was founded, I am privileged to lead a community which is so devoted to supporting vulnerable people from across the globe.

“Together, the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University work to promote sanctuary and support those who are threatened or displaced by conflict or persecution – through our research, teaching, and student activity well as our partnerships with community organisations across the city.”

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