Equal Access Campaign QUB
By signing this petition you demand fair access to Queens University Belfast for asylum seekers. The Student Action for Refugees (STAR) wants fully funded access to education at QUB for those who have come to Northern Ireland, having fled war, torture and persecution and now seek to fulfill their academic potential and build successful lives.
Currently asylum seekers (for the difference between asylum seekers and refugees click here) have to pay the international tuition fee, this can cost anywhere between 13-31.000 pounds per year in QUB. It is impossible for asylum seekers to pay this since they are not allowed to work and have to survive on £37 a week.
We believe that universities should take a leading role in responding to the international challenges of the global refugee crisis. We believe that QUB has a responsibility to play its part in the response to the global refugee crisis and will benefit from opening its doors to those students seeking refugee protection.
Therefore STAR requests that QUB creates fully funded places for asylum seekers already living in Northern Ireland. Many prestigious universities in the UK, including Manchester, Leeds, and London, are already offering either fully funded places to refugees and asylum seekers or treat them as home students. QUB states in its ‘Vision 2020’ that it wants to increase international student population from “8% to 20%” and aims include “welcoming students from all over the world and helping them to achieve their ambitions”. If QUB would offer asylum seekers funded places, it would bring these goals closer.
Education is a fundamental human right, recognized by the United Nations. We do not believe that financial barriers should prevent asylum seekers from achieving their academic potential. Asylum seekers have no legal right to work and cannot get a student loan, their only option is to be given financial help by universities and other educational facilities.
On the 1st of December QUB STAR will start a campaign to raise awareness of the plight of asylum seekers who are being denied the opportunity of further education. This petition and a petition for staff will thereafter be presented to Queen's board.
We thank you in advance for taking the time to read this and hope you sign the petition in order to improve the life of asylum seekers in Belfast and to improve QUB's engagement and responsability in society.