Forced Migration Network News and Events

10 Mar 2020

Recent news and events from the Forced Migration Network, a network of academic and practitioner staff from across and beyond the University involved in research, teaching, outreach and support relating to asylum seekers and refugees.


March 2020: New publication by inclusive education experts highlights the vital importance of trust in the education of refugee children

Young refugees often approach school in their new country with mistrust and insecurity. At the same time, trust is often taken for granted - after all, the children are safe now - and much of the focus tends to be on language as the main barrier to educational progress. Yet these feelings of mistrust can be deep-seated in children seeking refuge, hampering their education.

If schools are to find answers to these issues, they will need to focus their efforts on becoming places worthy of the trust of refugee children, argue FMN members Dr Wayne Veck and Julie Wharton in a new publication in the International Journal of Inclusive Education. This, they contend, requires the creation of a culture in which children and educators are mutually trusted to make unique and distinctive contributions to their schools.

Read the full article

November 2019: University of Winchester pledges to welcome refugees on World Access to Higher Education Day

The University of Winchester has joined other UK universities on a new commitment to increase access to Higher Education for refugees and asylum seekers. Read the full press release.



6 Nov.: MapAction: geographic support for humanitarian decision-making

This talk, presented by the Royal Geographic Society and hosted by the University, described how MapAction deploys rapid response geographic support to natural disasters and other humanitarian situations. Find out more.

4 Sept: First national Universities of Sanctuary Conference

Dr Terri Sandison and two of our Sanctuary Award students are members of the organising group for this conference which attracted participants from universities across the UK. The focus was on forced migrants and their education. The conference heard from leading practitioners from the first 10 designated Universities of Sanctuary and other HEIs and explore ways to work more closely as a sector to improve our own practices and to campaign for a more hospitable environment in the UK.

29-31 Aug.: Residential Summer School for young asylum-seekers and forced migrants

Our third annual 3-day residential experience for 14-18 year old forced migrants. This year we welcomed 25 young people, from Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Tanzania and Afghanistan. This year's residential included workshops on British culture and English language; critical thinking and language; barriers to university; a multimedia workshop, and even a visit to Bournemouth University for a robotics workshop. 

17-23 June: Refugee Week

During RW 2019, the Network used a variety of engaging ways to raise awareness of issue of forced migration across the University community and externally.

On the 22nd, we hosted our annual Family Fun Day, in partnership with the Rural Refugee Network. The day, supported by a team of enthusiastic volunteers including staff, students and colleagues from the Rural Refugee Network, welcomed refugee families placed across Hampshire and the neighbouring counties. Throughout the day children enjoyed the many arts, crafts and sports activities on offer, while older family members had the chance to catch-up with others and share their stories and experiences, as well as talk with University staff and students and to access information about higher education.

Throughout the week, members highlighted various aspects of the FMN's work through an intranet blog, including a reflective contribution from our first CARA Fellow.

Prof. Andrew Melrose, project lead for, has been taking on the Ration Challenge: for a whole week he consumed no more than a refugee's ration. "I learned a great deal", he said afterwards. "Even from my own comfortable home I could appreciate how meagre this ration box is, and it allowed me some sober reflection time." Find out more about Andrew's Ration Challenge.

7-8 March: Conference presentation on Partnership Approaches

Dr Terri Sandison co-presented on the topic of ‘Partnership Approaches’ at the Association of Commonwealth Universities Symposium at the University of Edinburgh titled ‘Extending the welcome: Long-term approaches to supporting refugees and at-risk scholars in higher education’. The presentation built on the experience of the University of Winchester as a founder member of the Article 26 Project, which was set up to provide scholarships to support forced migrants who wish to enter UK higher education. It was co-presented with Dr Rebecca Murray, previously Director of Article 26.

Find out more about the conference


In September 2018, the University hosted Boundary Crossing, an international interdisciplinary conference on refugees and social justice. Speakers included Prof. Matthew Gibney, Director of the University of Oxford's Refugee Studies Centre.  

Autumn 2018 saw the project Reimagining the Voyage of St Brendan in Today's World of Homelessness and Refugees. This collaboration between award-winning artist Maz Jackson and University of Winchester Professor Peter Billingham featured an exhibition on St Brendan's voyage, a play titled The Drowned and the Saved, and the symposium Sea Echoes.

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