On January 27, CoS UK hosted a well-attended webinar in partnership with Refugee Education UK and two speakers from the Surviving to Thriving programme at the British Red Cross.
This hour-long session provided an overview of some of the key issues facing sanctuary seekers arriving at FE Colleges, with a particular focus on Afghan arrivals following recent events there. Building on their extensive experience supporting sanctuary-seeking students, the speakers offered concrete suggestions on how FE Colleges can develop supportive, welcoming environments that enable new arrivals to integrate and thrive.
The full recording is available here: Supporting New Afghan Arrivals at FE Colleges Webinar – YouTube
Speakers include Katie Barringer of Refugee Education UK and young people with lived experience of seeking sanctuary in the UK supported by British Red Cross . Mika and Samir shared powerfully about their personal experiences of attending FE Colleges, and why it is so important that FE Colleges ensure their finance and admissions teams fully understand the rules surrounding admissions to ensure that as many people seeking sanctuary can access educational opportunities and reach their full potential. We are deeply grateful for Mika and Samir for speaking so eloquently.
There was an open discussion period at the end of the presentation; Colleges such as City College Norwich shared how they were developing buddying programmes to support new arrivals feel connected and supported at their setting. Colleagues from FE Colleges in Scotland and Wales reflected on the differences in financing between the nations and how important it was to note that the experiences can vary widely for new arrivals depending on where they live in the UK.
To learn more about how FE Colleges can support welcome, please sign up to our mailing list here: FE College of Sanctuary Mailing List | City of Sanctuary.