Sheffield Hallam University pledges to support refugees get education

Sheffield Hallam University has signed a pledge to expand its support for refugees and people seeking sanctuary across all areas of higher education

Friday, 13th December 2019, 7:18 pm
Updated Monday, 30th December 2019, 5:21 pm
From left, Krassimira Teneva, head of international experience at Sheffield Hallam, Inderjit Bhogal, Professor Sir Chris Husbands and Shqiperim Reka

The pledge, which has been brought forward by City of Sanctuary and STAR (Student Action for Refugees), states the universitys commitment to the UN Refugee Agency's goal of 15 per cent of refugees worldwide having access to higher education by 2050.

Professor Sir Chris Husbands, vice-chancellor of the university, also signed a pledge to support Sheffield being recognised as a City of Sanctuary which welcomes and encourages the contribution of asylum seekers and refugees to the city.

Prof Husbands said: “I’m delighted that Sheffield Hallam is able to make an institutional commitment to providing sanctuary.

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“With only 1% of refugees worldwide accessing higher education, universities have a crucial role to play in extending opportunities and helping those displaced from their homes to rebuild their lives.”

One refugee that Hallam welcomed as an undergraduate student of tourism management in 2008, Shqiperim Reka, is now a lecturer at the university in Sheffield Business School.

Shqiperim moved to Sheffield in 1999 with his parents, fleeing his war-torn home country of Kosovo.

After completing his degree in 2009, he went on to do a masters and a PhD before becoming a lecturer in 2017.

He said: "If Hallam was a less supportive institution, I wouldn’t have got to this level. The members of staff here are incredible; they understood me and helped me get to where I am today.”