Refugee Week 2023

News | Posted on Monday 12 June 2023

June 19-25 is Refugee Week and to celebrate this we will be holding a number of events while raising awareness of issues affecting refugees and asylum seekers and the support that’s available at the University and within the city.

The Theme for Refugee Week 2023 is Compassion. We would like to invite all members of our University community to join us in celebrating this week and learning more about the issues affecting refugees and asylum seekers and about the University’s involvement in this area.

Contact us

Equality and Diversity Office
+44 (0)1904 324680

A University of Sanctuary

The University of York is a welcoming and safe place for refugees, asylum seekers and other people who have been forced to migrate. The University is now home to students from over 150 countries. We are always working to build on this inclusive environment and we became a University of Sanctuary in September 2020.

A University of Sanctuary

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How and why the University of York became a University of Sanctuary.

We help sanctuary seekers access a university education by offering a range of financial support. This includes three Equal Access scholarships offered annually to asylum seekers who wish to undertake both undergraduate and postgraduate study. We also offer an enhanced bursary to students who are refugees.

These scholarships make a life-changing difference to a student seeking sanctuary by enabling them to access a York education. Each scholarship is entirely funded by the generosity of donors and includes a full tuition fee waiver from the University.

Find out more and make a donation

Supporting Human Rights Defenders

The Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR) has visiting human rights defenders at the core of its work. The Protective Fellowships Scheme offers them the chance to come to York for periods ranging from three to six months. During this time they benefit both from time away from a difficult environment, and from educational resources designed to increase their effectiveness and their ability to influence policy and practice when they return home. At the same time, CAHR benefits from their experience, allowing it to create and share knowledge relating to best practice in human rights activism.

Find out more and meet current and previous Human Rights Defenders

The Book of Refugees project

The University is building up an online record of refugees' stories to create an online Book of Refugees. We are still receiving amazing contributions (poems, works of art, videos, words of wisdom, reflections in prose), and we will continue to post them until the end of the project in early 2024.

Find out more about the Book of Refugees, and view the contributions

Events and activities

University of York events

Blackout poems for “Missing” others: a creative participatory workshop

Tuesday 20 June 11am -1pm
BS/008 Seminar Room, Berrick Saul Building

A workshop to mark World Refugee Day by collectively rewriting narratives as a first step in acknowledging and grieving migrants who have lost their lives in the Mediterranean.

Find out more and register to attend Blackout poems

Football tournament

Saturday 24 June - 2pm to 5pm
York Sports Village, Campus East

Calling all football fans! Join us to support an exciting charity football tournament as six teams of young refugees and others battle it out for the Sam Pegram Cup!

Whose 'truth'? Exposing human rights abuses in Greece

Monday 26 June 2023, 1pm to 2pm

This lecture with forensics researcher Phevos Simeonidis dives into the concept of "truth", as it's being deployed or contested when it comes to exposing human rights abuses in Greece. Using a multidisciplinary approach from the humanities, it explores power dynamics, storytelling, and how truth is understood in relation to human rights violations in the EU borders and beyond.

Find out more and book for Whose truth?

City-wide events

There is a vibrant programme of events taking place within the city of York and local area for Refugee Week, for more information see the York Refugee Week programme of events.

Resources and related links

Useful links

Watch again

You can rewatch some relevant online events on the Equality Office and the Centre for Applied Human Rights YouTube channels:

Contact us

Equality and Diversity Office
+44 (0)1904 324680