World Refugee Week 2024 - 17-24 June

Refugee Week logo with multi-coloured dots and black letters

The University of Winchester is a University of Sanctuary, welcoming and supporting refugees and asylum seekers - explore the University of Sanctuary webpage. Read on to explore our World Refugee Week 2024 programme.

The theme for WRW24 is Our Home and the Network will host the following events:

17 June, 15.00 BST: International Webinar on Inclusive Higher Education for People Forced from their Homes

The University of Winchester Sanctuary Network, the University's Centre of Research for Educational Action and Theory Exchange (CREATE) and Hampshire Universities Together are delighted to host an international webinar about forced migration and higher education.

For details, see tabs below.

Register here

19 June, 10.00 - 10.30: Creative Online Assembly for KS2/KS3 learners

Part of the Refugee Education Conference - for details, see tabs below.

Register here 

19 June, 9.45 - 16.00: Refugee Education Conference (Schools, Colleges and Universities), University of Winchester and online

The University of Winchester is inviting colleagues from primary, secondary, further and higher education to join us at the University of Winchester for a day exploring refugee education. Join us for a day full of opportunities to develop your knowledge and understanding of refugee education. Learn from the experiences of other educators and learners, develop professional contacts, and find out more about becoming a place of sanctuary for refugees and asylum seekers.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided. The conference closes at 16.00 but there will be an option to stay on until 17.00 and join the newly established Hampshire Sanctuary Education Forum. For programme details, see tabs below.

Register here 

International Webinar

Details and programme

Today, while an average of more than 40% of the global population are enrolled in higher education, only 7% of refugees are in higher education – a figure that is itself a significant increase from the 1% figure in 2019 (UNHCR, 2024). The central theme of this year’s Refugee Week is Our Home. The experience of uprootedness, and the longing to be at home in the world permeate accounts of the refugee experience. In the face of this reality, this webinar brings together leading researchers to examine how higher education institutions can create inclusive educational spaces where uprooted people can fulfil their potential.

Keynote speakers: Dr Rebecca Murray, Univ. of Sheffield, and Daniel Mutanda, Univ. of Exeter


15.00 - 15.10: Opening Remarks: Dr Wayne Veck 

15.10 - 16.00: Keynotes, Routes to Belonging in Higher Education, by Dr Rebecca Murray and
Daniel Mutanda

16.00 - 17.00: Parallel Papers Session 1

17.05 - 18.05: Parallel Papers Session 2

Refugee Education Conference Programme

09.45 - Welcome and Introduction

Available to Conference participants only

Sarah Harder-Collins (Head of Participation and Success and Deputy Director of Student Support and Success at the University of Winchester) opens the Conference with an introduction to World Refugee Week 2024, Winchester University’s Sanctuary Network and the programme of events for the day.

10.00 - ONLINE Refugee Week 2024 'Our Home' Creative Assembly

Available to schools online and Conference participants.

Join us for a special online poetry and art writing session hosted by Majid Dhana, also known as JidosReality, as part of Refugee Week 2024.

This session, themed ‘Our Home’, invites KS2 & KS3 students to explore and express their unique perspectives on what home means to them. Through guided writing exercises, shared reflections, interactive polls using Mentimeter and a live performance by Majid Dhana, participants will be inspired to create their own pieces of poetry or art, including paintings, drawings, and abstract works.

Online Assembly Outline

1. Welcome and Introduction (5 minutes) Majid Dhana aka 'JidosReality' introduces the session and Refugee Week 2024 theme: 'Our Home'.

2. Icebreaker Activity: Finding Our Words (5 minutes) Participants use Mentimeter to share a word or phrase that represents 'home'.

3. Guided Writing and Art Exercise: Exploring 'Our Home' (10 minutes) With prompts from Majid, participants:
a. describe a place that feels like home (writing or visual representation)
b. Reflect on a time that felt far from home (writing or visual representation)
c. Imagine a new home (writing or visual representation)
d. Create silently

4. Sharing and Reflection (5 minutes) Participants volunteer to share lines from their writing or show their art with group reflection on shared pieces.

5. Majid’s Performance: Personal Poem (5 minutes)

6. Encouragement and Next Steps (5 minutes): Majid encourages participants to continue refining poems, drawings, paintings, or abstract art and provides information about the competition and visit to University of Winchester.

Poetry Competition

Following the Assembly, pupils will create their own poetry to be entered into a poetry competition. Each school will choose five poems to submit for a poetry competition (schools can also contribute up to two works of art to accompany the poetry submissions).

The selected poets from each school will be invited to a celebratory event at University of Winchester on Wednesday 17 July 2024, where overall winners will be presented with a book voucher, and winning poetry will be showcased (more details to follow).

10.40 - Teachers Panel

Available to online attendees and Conference participants.

Learn from teachers and senior leaders about how they have supported refugees and asylum seekers in their schools and colleges.


Available to Conference participants only. Refreshments will be provided.

An opportunity to meet colleagues in education informally and develop connections for future collaboration.

11.45 - Workshops (Schools/Colleges/Universities)

Available to Conference participants only.

An interactive session for colleagues to share experiences of becoming a School/College/University of Sanctuary. This includes information about what it means to be a School of Sanctuary and what to expect from the assessment process.

Details and speakers to be confirmed shortly.


Available to Conference participants only. Lunch will be provided.

An opportunity to meet colleagues in education informally and develop connections for future collaboration.

13.45 - Expert Speaker Sessions

Available to online attendees and Conference participants.

Dr Sarah Coles – ‘Refugees in Education’

Sarah is the team leader of Hampshire’s Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service (EMTAS), which is part of Hampshire County Council’s Children’s Services.  EMTAS work with children in Hampshire schools for whom English is an additional language.  In recent years, this has included rising numbers of children who have come from overseas as refugees.  Each of Hampshire’s refugee children has their own unique back story which may include interests, skills, talents and dreams as well as experiences of trauma and separation. What EMTAS seek to do is help each child settle into their new life in a new country through a support offer that is tailored to the needs of the individual.

This talk focusses on approaches to supporting refugee children who are attending schools in Hampshire.  It includes the importance of Pupil Profiling, use of first language, staff awareness-raising and support from a Bilingual Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (B-ELSA), this being a new role that was developed by Hampshire EMTAS in collaboration with the Hampshire Educational Psychology team.

Jude Darwich – An Introduction to Healing Classrooms

Jude is an Education Officer at the IRC responsible for leading the Healing Spaces programme. Before joining the IRC, Jude managed education and child protection projects in Syria's most conflict affected regions. Jude also managed the delivery of more than 250 training sessions delivered to more than 5500 educators and service providers across Syria, covering topics such as child protection, psychosocial support, gender-based violence, and classroom management.

The IRC’s Healing Classrooms approach - built on 40 years of education in emergencies experience and a decade of research and field testing - offers children a safe and predictable place to learn and cope with the consequences of conflict and displacement.  It is a trauma-informed approach to education that covers all the necessary steps schools need to take to best support newly arrived refugee and asylum-seeking students. This session will provide an overview of the Healing Classrooms programme and include useful advice for welcoming and supporting refugee and asylum-seeking students.

Lydia Nyachieo - Barriers & Pathways: Exploring Key Challenges & Opportunities in Higher Education for Asylum-Seeking Students

Lydia is a Higher Education Coordinator at Refugee Education UK, where she manages the scholarships for the Schwab & Westheimer Trust, alongside providing guidance and support to other refugees and asylum seekers pursuing university. Prior to joining REUK, Lydia has had experience in social research,
humanitarian programming, and student support within higher education. She holds an MSc in International Development from the University of Manchester.

This presentation will briefly introduce the work of Refugee Education UK before exploring some of the barriers that asylum seeking students face on their journey to higher education, drawing on key insights from our recent research study in Coventry in collaboration with the University of Warwick. The presentation will also briefly discuss education complementary pathways and what these pathways could look like in the UK’s higher education space.

15.00 - Student Panel

Available to online attendees and Conference participants.

Chair: Divya Jose (she/her) – Research Officer, Refugee Education UK (REUK)


Aiya Abdalla – LLB Law with International Relations at the University of Sussex
Delacky Katjikuru – LLB Law at Birmingham University
Khoshhal Popalzai – Foundation for Law at the University of Bristol
Mohammad Jumma – aspiring medical student

Refugee Education UK host a panel discussion with four of their youth advocates- young people with lived experience of displacement- on their experience of accessing education in the UK. They will explore the concepts of safety, belonging and succeeding* to describe how education has helped create a sense of home as they navigated a new education system, language, culture and immigration system. They also hope to answer questions from the audience, so do ask them about their experiences in education in the UK during the Q&A! 

*a theoretical framework on refugee education developed by REUK's partner Prof. Joanna McIntyre. 

15.40 - Conference Close

Available to Conference participants only.

Sarah Harder-Collins closes the Conference.

16.00 - Hampshire Sanctuary Education Forum

Available to Conference participants only.

Those colleagues wishing to get more involved in this important area of work are warmly invited to stay on and join local schools, colleges and universities to discuss establishing a supportive network locally.