Aston University: Aston University signs City of Sanctuary pledge

Aston University has become a supporting organisation of City of Sanctuary UK to demonstrate its commitment to helping people fleeing violence and persecution.

City of Sanctuary is a charity supporting a network of groups across the UK and Ireland working to build a culture of welcome and hospitality within their communities.

Earlier this year, the University opened a new Centre for Migration and Forced Displacement. The centre officially launched with an event bringing together designers, artists and academics to discuss how to investigate and publicise violence against migrants.

Other initiatives set up by Aston University to support refugees and asylum seekers include:

a new sanctuary scholarship scheme for students who have sought refuge in the UK
the student-led Enactus Society Chance for Change project, facilitating integration and employment for refugees
Supporting the Kozminski Foundation run by Kozminski University in Poland, which provides support for victims of the war in Ukraine
students in the University’s Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship undertaking PhD research into refugee entrepreneurship
funding for an emergency training package for Ukrainian interpreters, supporting local organisations in contact with Ukrainian refugees.
Dr Angela Jeffery, director of regional strategy at Aston University, said:

“Aston University recently launched its Civic University Agreement, outlining our commitment as an anchor institution to improving the economic, social, environmental and cultural life of our local communities.

“Becoming a supporting organisation of the City of Sanctuary is one of many steps the University is taking to support our region and society. We endorse the City of Sanctuary Charter and agree to act in accordance with its values. We are committed to achieving University of Sanctuary status by welcoming asylum seekers and refugees into the university community and fostering a culture of welcome and inclusion for all.”

City of Sanctuary chair, David Brown, said:

“As a diverse and vibrant university in a diverse and vibrant city, Aston University is in a really strong position to welcome and support asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants as they seek to build new lives in the UK, and to contribute their skills and energy to the University community, to Birmingham and to the Midlands.

“With colleagues in the City of Sanctuary movement, I warmly welcome Aston University’s commitment to become a University of Sanctuary.”