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World Refugee Day – supporting those most in need

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The University of Bradford plays an integral part in supporting asylum seekers and refugees in Bradford and the wider region.

Highlighted through its status as a University of a Sanctuary, the University fosters a culture of welcome and inclusion for asylum seekers and refugees, with initiatives running right across all the faculties.

There is a range of support on offer for applicants, including Sanctuary Scholarships and the University continues to demonstrate its commitment to supporting asylum seekers and refugees to access and succeed in higher education through ambitions and targets set out in the University’s Access and Participation Plans.

A cross-university research team, working with the Wolfson Centre for Applied Health Research have helped advise the city’s COVID-19 response to what support refugees may need. There are also multiple research projects taking place looking at how services for refugees and asylum seekers can be improved and the struggles they face.

Dr Melanie Cooper, Reader in Maternity and Migrant Health at the University of Bradford said: “I have worked in research focusing on people who are asylum seekers and refugees for a number of years and am always humbled to learn about the experiences of people who have lived through (or still living through) often horrendous experiences. It is important that researchers undertake meaningful studies that will make a real difference to improving lives.”

Emma Young, Interim Associate Director of Student Services – Student Life and Success said: “We are proud to be a University of Sanctuary, and we continue to strive to provide excellent support and opportunities for students from all backgrounds, including those from asylum seeker and refugee communities. This is why, from this academic year, we have significantly increased the financial support provided through our Sanctuary Scholarships, and we continue to work with our applicants and students to enhance our educational offer to provide a welcoming, inclusive and vibrant learning environment for all”.

World Refugee Day 2021 is on Sunday 20 June and is designed to celebrate and honour refugees from around the world.

The work the University and the city have achieved in supporting refugees and asylum seekers was highlighted at this year’s UNIfy festival. The event told Bradford's history of peace activism and introduced those who have sought sanctuary in the city and made Bradford their home.

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