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ASPIRE: A sanctuary focus group with links to university research

A small group of BBA students, with lived experience of displacement, formed part of a focus group for a research study called ASPIRE. This follows previous links with the University of Nottingham (including our participation in the Hub for Refugee Education Conference as a Nottingham School of Sanctuary). On this occasion students were invited to take part in an informal interview led by the University of Nottingham and Refugee Education UK. The talk focussed on their experiences leading up to full time education in this country. They also discussed their personal realities both in schools and the wider community from the moment they became part of a school system at primary or secondary.

The project maps education provision for young people from refugee and asylum seeking backgrounds, with Oxford and Nottingham being two cities known to positively support refugee education. The research aims to understand good practice across both places and to share this with stakeholders within these two key cities and beyond. We are very proud of the 5 students that willingly made a contribution to this discussion. It is our hope that these different experiences of sanctuary will feed into future, positive change and a greater understanding of the needs of all students and families who have undergone similar experiences.

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