Annual Conference

Once a year everyone involved in the Article 26 project meets at our annual conference. 

The eighth annual Article 26 takes place 28th – 30th August 2018 and this year is hosted by Kings College London and will be held at the Strand campus within easy reach of all major train stations. This year’s focus is on the ‘Student Life Cycle’ and seeks to explore and find ways to support sanctuary scholars to not just access but thrive at university. We look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible. See the information below for details pertaining to each of the three days and the relevant booking details.

Day One (Tuesday 28th August): Sanctuary Scholars
The first day of the conference is focused exclusively on sanctuary scholars who are either currently studying or who have recently graduated from university. The aim of this day is to support students to maximise their participation in and opportunities beyond higher education, alongside having fun and building a peer to peer support network.

Day Two (Wednesday 29th August): Sanctuary Scholars & University Practitioners
Day two of the conference is attended by sanctuary scholars, university practitioners and any groups or individuals interested in these issues. The day will focus on three key areas:
1. Developing Sanctuary Scholarships - how to grow existing scholarships and opportunities for Sanctuary Scholars.  Our aim is to explore the challenges and also identify potential solutions, focusing on funding arrangements and fundraising initiatives.

2. Promoting & Communicating Sanctuary Scholarships - demand and ‘take up’ of scholarships is of critical importance to ensure opportunities meet students’ needs and are effectively communicated and promoted. We will launch the Article 26 resources ‘Reaching Out to Sanctuary Scholars’, as well as explore the potential opportunities presented by the Office for Students decision to recognise ‘refugees’ as an underrepresented group in higher education.

3. Sustaining & Securing Sanctuary Scholarships – three key challenges are often encountered in the delivery (universities) and participation (sanctuary scholars) in opportunities created by scholarship schemes:
i) Compliance with the Home Office, with particular reference to the recently introduced ‘no study’ conditions which pose a direct challenge to some sanctuary scholars.
ii) Cost of applications in the process of maintaining immigration status.
iii) Impact of student support provided through scholarships on existing support arrangements (NASS / welfare benefits / legal aid).

Day Three (Thursday 30th August): Academic Symposium
The second academic symposium delivered as part of the conference aims to explore whether access to university fulfils the aspirations of individuals who have been forcibly displaced and sought not just asylum but opportunities in higher education. This raises questions around the role played by higher education in the lives of forced migrants in minimising and/or exacerbating experiences of limbo and belonging. With increasing attention being paid to refugee reception, especially within Europe in the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis, higher education institutions around the world have been turning their attention to the contribution that they might make to welcoming and supporting sanctuary seekers. The past two years have consequently seen a proliferation of ‘sanctuary scholarships’, and in turn researchers have started to turn their attention to the experiences of forced migrants in higher education as well as institutional responses to the refugee challenge. However, questions remain around issues of student aspirations, the forced migrant experience of higher education, and societal participation beyond, and the agency of students to shape their own experiences within and destinies post university.

The academic symposium will bring together researchers and practitioners working in this burgeoning field to present and discuss new work on forced migrants (asylum seekers and refugees) in higher education. To submit an abstract please send a 200 word (max) abstract plus a short bio to Rebecca Murray ( by June 1st 2018. Topics of interest may include, but are not limited to:

- The experiences of forced migrants in higher education in different host country contexts
- Institutional responses to the refugee challenge
- Xenophobia, racism and feeling unwelcome
- Impact of immigration on studying
- Opportunities for the reclamation of agency
- Experiences of limbo and belonging

Booking & Further Information
To book your place please click here

Please contact Rebecca Murray: if any of your sanctuary scholars would like to attend the conference. The cost for a student place is £150 which includes accommodation and food for the two conference days. There is some funding available to support the cost of attendance for sanctuary scholars. Please contact us for further information.

Watch our video of the Article 26 conference 2014, held in Birmingham at Newman University. This was filmed and produced by three of our very talented students, Farai, Aissata & Aliya.

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