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Oxford University awarded University of Sanctuary status

The University of Oxford has received an award from the Universities of Sanctuary for its continued commitment to helping those who have been forcibly displaced around the world. 

Oxford is one of 25 universities across the country to have been awarded University of Sanctuary status. They make up a network of higher education institutions supporting people seeking sanctuary.

The University of Oxford follows Mansfield and Somerville Colleges which were awarded College of Sanctuary status in 2021 after establishing fully funded Sanctuary Scholarships for postgraduate students. 

Oxford has been recognised for its Refugee Studies Centre (founded in 1982) and Refugee-Led Research Hub (launched in 2021). More recently, the University’s Ukraine Scholarship scheme has added to its history of offering scholarships to refugees. 

The University has been able to offer scholarships to refugees and other forced migrants since 2016. It began the Refugee Academic Futures scheme this academic year to provide scholarships for graduates. 

The University of Sanctuary award heralds renewed investment in helping refugees. Under its new Oxford Sanctuary Committee, Oxford will now deliver an integrated programme of scholarships, support for students from displacement backgrounds and for the Oxford branch of Student Action for Refugees.

University of Sanctuary Coordinator, Maryam Taher said “we look forward to the University building on its positive work, and developing even closer links with local refugee communities and support groups.”

She continued, “the support of the University in welcoming those seeking sanctuary is vital to ensuring the UK offers a safe and supportive environment for those in need at times of crisis.”

Committed to inclusivity, the Oxford Sanctuary Community orchestrated the city of Oxford’s first Sanctuary Fair to connect refugees, students and locals held at the Town Hall on 11 May.

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