15 November 2022

This Thursday is World Access to Higher Education Day (WAHED), a global day of action to raise awareness about the inequalities people face when trying to access higher education. In this blog, we share how STAR campaigns for improved access to university for refugees and people seeking asylum, and what you can do to help.

People who have been displaced due to war and persecution face particularly high barriers when applying for and trying to fund their university studies. Many refugees are unable to continue their education as a result.

STAR campaigns to increase the proportion of refugees enrolled in higher education to 15% by 2030 – in line with the #15by30 target set by the UN.

Watch our video about the barriers to higher education for refugees and people seeking asylum, and how STAR campaigns to make a difference:
Want to get involved? Here are four things you can do to improve access to higher education this WAHED: 
1. Share the STAR applicant pack with local organisations or applicants

People who are seeking asylum or from a refugee background often struggle to get the information they need to apply to university. STAR has campaigned for #EqualAccess to university since 2008 and we raise awareness of the opportunities and support available to help applicants overcome the barriers they face.

We’ve collected some helpful resources in our applicant pack. Share it with any applicants or refugee support organisations you know!

STAR applicant pack QR code

2. Promote the Equal Access Network!

The Equal Access Network is an open, interactive and friendly forum where students from refugee and asylum-seeking backgrounds in the UK can connect and learn from each other’s experiences of higher education. 

Share the Equal Access Network page and look out for our WAHED posts on Instagram and Facebook!

3. Support STAR’s work

We work to improve access to university and support for students to continue their education. We want to see a shift in behaviour that makes universities and local communities a more welcoming place for refugees and people seeking asylum. 

We need your support to ensure that we can continue our vital work to improve access to higher education for people seeking refugee protection in the UK. We:

  • Campaign for more opportunities for refugees to access university.
  • Improve advice and support for refugee and asylum-seeking applicants.
  • Support the higher education sector to welcome refugees at their institutions. 
  • Push for national policy change by working with government departments. 

4. Spread the word about WAHED and STAR’s Equal Access campaign! 

Take part in activities that are taking place at your university or speak for five minutes at a lecture or seminar about access to university for people seeking refugee protection. You could talk about the work your STAR group has done (e.g. open days or petitions), or the work you’re hoping to achieve this year.

Refresh yourself on the importance of Equal Access by reading our Equal Access page or by listening to STAR’s latest Equal Access workshop.

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