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September, 2015:

University of Bath: Offer Funded Scholarships to Refugees

Following the example of other UK universities, we are calling on the University of Bath to offer scholarships to refugees who would otherwise be unable to start or complete their studies.

Please support the call by adding your name to the letter below and sharing it with colleagues and students at the University.

For information on other actions of solidarity in Bath, click here.


Dear Vice-Chancellor,

We are writing to you in the context of the worsening refugee crisis. As you will be aware, many refugees are young people whose education has been disrupted, and as well as seeking freedom from persecution they are also wishing to rebuild their lives through education. However, people seeking refuge in the UK face two key barriers to accessing education: tuition fees and student finance. They are classed as international students and thus charged tuition fees at the international rate, while also being ineligible for support from the Student Loan Company. This makes a university education inaccessible for most people seeking refuge here.

We are asking you to follow the example of other UK universities such as Warwick, Goldsmiths, LSE, UEL, Sheffield and York in setting up scholarships and bursaries to support refugees and asylum seekers in obtaining higher education. We are asking you to do this as part of a coordinated effort via Article 26.

Article 26 is a project of the Helena Kennedy Foundation whose main aim is to promote access to Higher Education for people who have fled persecution and sought asylum in the UK. The Article 26 project works in partnership with universities to provide advice and guidance on creating packages of support for students seeking asylum, which enables them to not only access but succeed in Higher Education. This includes a full tuition fee bursary and funding to meet some of the additional costs associated with studying. For more information, see http://article26.hkf.org.uk/.

As a university that takes pride in its international community and reputation, we ask that you demonstrate support for these displaced people in the following ways:

1) Create at least 10 scholarships and bursaries for asylum seekers to be available from this academic year

2) Link these to the initiative established by Article 26, a project of the Helena Kennedy foundation that promotes access to higher education for people who have sought asylum in the UK

3) Provide financial support to students with refugee status who are denied full access to tuition fee loans and support grants because they were forced to abondon their studies in their home country

4) Advertise and promote that the University of Bath welcomes refugees and asylum seekers, and engage in discussion about what more we can do

5) Partner with CARA (Council for Assisting Refugee Academics, http://cara1933.org/) and set up a working group of academics to support refugee academics.

We believe that education is a human right that should be accessible to all, and we ask that you give people seeking asylum the opportunity to study at the University of Bath, to become part of our community and to start to rebuild their lives with the support that we can offer.”

Initial signatories:

Dima Albadra, Architecture & Civil Engineering
Nour Alhusein, Pharmacy & Pharmacology
Ammar Azzouz, Architecture & Civil Engineering
Kim Luetchford, Chemical Engineering
Christopher Roche, School of Management
Maisie Sanders, PoLIS Alumni
Hayley Thorne, Social & Policy Sciences
Michael Carley, Mechanical Engineering | President, UoB UCU
Chris Coy, Pharmacy & Pharmacology | Secretary, UoB Unite
Matt Humberstone, Community Officer, UoB Students’ Union
Julie Samways, Estates | Chair, UoB UNISON
Hedley Bashforth, Social & Policy Sciences
Carl Ellis, Academic Skills Centre
Owen Cranshaw, Social & Policy Sciences
Frederick H. Pitts, Social & Policy Sciences
James Davenport, Computer Science
Julian Lewis, Computing Services
Simon O’Kane, Electronic & Electrical Engineering
Hartmut Logemann,  Mathematical Sciences
Peter Hall, Computer Science
Simon Wood, Mathematical Sciences
Emilia Davies, Estates
Kevin Sanders, Library
Sally Williamson, School of Management
Alaa Al Khourdajie, Economics
Elke Pawlowski, Foreign Languages Centre
Robert Scheichl, Mathemetical Sciences
Stéf Kasprowski, Computing Services


Please add your name to the letter by clicking “Sign Now” and share with friends and colleagues:

University of Bath: Offer Funded Scholarships to Refugees

Dear Vice-Chancellor,

We are writing to you in the context of the worsening refugee crisis. As you will be aware, many refugees are young people whose education has been disrupted, and as well as seeking freedom from persecution they are also wishing to rebuild their lives through education. However, people seeking refuge in the UK face two key barriers to accessing education: tuition fees and student finance. They are classed as international students and thus charged tuition fees at the international rate, while also being ineligible for support from the Student Loan Company. This makes a university education inaccessible for most people seeking refuge here.

We are asking you to follow the example of other UK universities such as Warwick, Goldsmiths, LSE, UEL, Sheffield and York in setting up scholarships and bursaries to support refugees and asylum seekers in obtaining higher education. We are asking you to do this as part of a coordinated effort via Article 26.

Article 26 is a project of the Helena Kennedy Foundation whose main aim is to promote access to Higher Education for people who have fled persecution and sought asylum in the UK. The Article 26 project works in partnership with universities to provide advice and guidance on creating packages of support for students seeking asylum, which enables them to not only access but succeed in Higher Education. This includes a full tuition fee bursary and funding to meet some of the additional costs associated with studying. For more information, see http://article26.hkf.org.uk/.

As a university that takes pride in its international community and reputation, we ask that you demonstrate support for these displaced people in the following ways:

1) Create at least 10 scholarships and bursaries for asylum seekers to be available from this academic year

2) Link these to the initiative established by Article 26, a project of the Helena Kennedy foundation that promotes access to higher education for people who have sought asylum in the UK

3) Provide financial support to students with refugee status who are denied full access to tuition fee loans and support grants because they were forced to abondon their studies in their home country

4) Advertise and promote that the University of Bath welcomes refugees and asylum seekers, and engage in discussion about what more we can do

5) Partner with CARA (Council for Assisting Refugee Academics, http://cara1933.org/) and set up a working group of academics to support refugee academics.

We believe that education is a human right that should be accessible to all, and we ask that you give people seeking asylum the opportunity to study at the University of Bath, to become part of our community and to start to rebuild their lives with the support that we can offer.

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1,161 signatures

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Solidarity with Refugees and other Migrants

Bath refugee solidarity poster - Please print out and put up in your work area

Bath refugee solidarity poster

Message sent to all Bath UCU members:

“Dear colleague,

In recent days the attention of the public, press and political establishment has turned sharply towards what is being described as a ‘refugee crisis’. I know that many Bath UCU members have been horrified by the suffering being inflicted upon people who are trying to reach safety and security in Europe. As individuals, it is easy to feel helpless when faced with injustice and distress on such a large scale, but the trade union movement is built on the principle that conditions for oppressed people can best be advanced through collective action. We may not be able to solve the current situation, but we can, at the very least, gain an understanding of it and work to improve the conditions faced by those worst affected. Please consider getting involved with these initiatives that are being co-organised by members of our branch:

*Welcome Refugees to Bath: Compassion Rally and Lobby of B&NES Council*
On Thursday 10th September, from 4-7pm, we are joining a lobby of Bath and North East Somerset Council, calling on Councillors to support the resettlement of refugees in the area. There is already a fund from the national government and EU to pay towards resettlement but we have to convince the Council to make use of it.

Where: The Guildhall, Bath
When: Thursday 10th September, 4-7pm
More details: https://www.facebook.com/events/739050629556707/

What can you do?
Come along, and invite your friends, family, neighbours and colleagues. Join us as soon as possible after work if you’re not able to be there from the start.
Print off the attached poster and stick it up in your work area.
Click “Attending” on the Facebook event, share and invite contacts on social media

*Petition of Bath Council & Write to your Councillor*

From 12:30-13:30 each day this week we will be running a stall outside the library where you can sign a petition to the Council, demanding that they facilitate the resettlement of refugees in Bath. We are also asking that people write to their local Councillors.

What can you do?
Sign the petition outside the library
Set up a petition in your department – contact me for details.
Sign an electronic petition here: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/refugees-welcome-in-bath
Use this too to quickly write to your local Councillors: https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/253

*Fundraising for MSF, The White Helmets & MOAS*
We will be collecting donations for three charities who are doing essential work: Medecins Sans Frontieres (https://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org/onetime.cfm), the White Helmets (https://herofund.whitehelmets.org/donate/crowdfund/) and Migrant Offshore Aid Station (http://www.moas.eu/).

What can you do?
Come along to the library to make a donation
Volunteer to help collecting donations on campus – contact me for details
Start a collection in your department – contact me for help in setting this up

*Support for Refugees in Calais*
We are working with CalAidBath to provide essential items to refugees and other migrants in Calais. If you have any of the below items to give, please bring them to the stall outside the library from 12:30-13:30 each day this week. If you can only bring items outside of these hours, please either contact me or drop them off directly in town with CalAidBath (https://www.facebook.com/Calaidbath).

What can you do?

Volunteer to help out on the stall
Bring along any of the following:
SHELTER – Tents, Sleeping bags, Blankets, Mattresses, Camp beds, Roll mats, Wood pallets,
Canvas sheets, Damp Proof Membrane DMP, Plastic tarpaulins, Rope, Chairs and stools, e.g. folding chairs, camping stools
MEN’S CLOTHING – Shoes and boots (not wellies), Socks, Jackets, Thermals, T-Shirts, Underwear, Waterproof jackets and trousers, Hats

If you can help with any of the above, or can suggest other ways that the branch can support these or similar efforts, please let me know. Otherwise I will hopefully see you on Thursday outside the Guildhall.

And, of course, please do forward this message onto other workers who are not members of the union.

Kind regards,

Chris

Dr. Christopher Roche
Assessment & Timetabling Office, School of Management
Vice President, Bath UCU
University of Bath, BA2 7AY”