University of Sanctuary news and events

The University of Winchester is a University of Sanctuary, welcoming and supporting refugees and asylum seekers. Read the latest news from our dynamic UoS team and explore the University of Sanctuary webpage.

2022 news and events

Refugee Week events and activities

Ukrainian Sanctuary scholarships

In response to the situation in Ukraine and a growing population of Ukrainians joining us locally, the University has launched 5 new Sanctuary Scholarships for those impacted by the war in Ukraine. In addition to the UK government support, the scholarships will provide students with a fee-waiver and £1000 cash bursary. Applications are now closed. Find out more about the scheme.

Art installation ‘Open Sanctuary’ (28th May – 28 June, West Downs Gallery)

The University invites staff, students and visitors to create a striking new art installation for contemplation and reflection. 'Open Sanctuary' is a sculpture made from hundreds of individual ceramic balls which, when completed, will form a circular space for visitors to sit quietly and meditate on what 'searching for sanctuary' means for them. A series of workshops and talks have taken place over recent weeks.

The exhibition in the West Downs Gallery is open from 8am until 6pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Saturday. Find out more about Open Sanctuary.

image of the sculpture in situ

Beyond Our Shores: Schools of Sanctuary Mini-Conference (21st June)

We welcomed staff and young people from local schools and colleges to join us to explore how we can become places of Sanctuary in our classrooms and communities. The event was open to both current Schools of Sanctuary and schools interested in learning more about how they can create a culture of welcome and inclusion for refugees and people seeking asylum.

A crisis that should never be repeated? A talk by Daniel Trilling ( 21st June, online talk)

In the past year, two refugee movements have provoked very different reactions from European governments. When thousands of people tried to flee Afghanistan as the Taliban took over the country in August 2021, the immediate response of many political leaders was to vow that there would be no repeat of the crisis at Europe's borders in 2015. Some commentators have even seen this hardening of attitudes as a dress rehearsal for the response to a potentially greater number of people displaced by climate change in the coming years. By contrast, the millions of people displaced from Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022 have been met with a striking openness elsewhere in Europe, even from governments that had previously set themselves against refugees. What does this tell us about the way the west is likely to respond to displacement in future - and what might the alternatives be?

Daniel Trilling is a journalist and author based in London who writes for the Guardian, London Review of Books and others about migration, nationalism and human rights. His work has been shortlisted for the 2022 Orwell Prize for journalism and his most recent book, Lights in the Distance: Exile and Refuge at the Borders of Europe, was shortlisted for the 2019 Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing.

University of Sanctuary Family Fun Day (Saturday 25th June 11am-3pm)

We are excited to be hosting our annual Family Fun Day from 11.00am - 3.00pm. This event, held in partnership with Winchester City of Sanctuary, is for local families currently or recently seeking sanctuary in the UK, see further details here. If you would like to volunteer or get involved please email

Coming soon:

University of Sanctuary Network celebration and (re)launch event, September 2022 date TBC

The Forced Migration Network will be relaunching under its new name ‘The University of Sanctuary Network’ and will be inviting staff, students and partners to join us in celebrating our re-accreditation as a University of Sanctuary in September 2022. Further details to follow.

Image top: a refugee camp with 14,000 refugees waiting for aid. Image: Dutch Aid Organisations Collective (Flickr)