USW unveils Refugee Champion

Mike Chick - English and TESOL lecturer

Dr Mike Chick is USW's first Refugee Champion

A NEW role has been created to manage and advise on the support refugees can get from the University of South Wales (USW). The role will also act as focal point for interdisciplinary collaboration on forced migrant issues.

Dr Mike Chick has been named USW’s Refugee Champion, a position created so that staff across the organisation can have a single point of contact for all questions regarding interactions with students and applicants who are refugees.

“Global migration is growing, and refugees can face many obstacles to accessing higher education,” Dr Chick explained.

“Language issues, unfamiliarity with application procedures, and providing evidence of previous qualifications can all be problematic for people who forced to leave their home.

“There can be a lot of misinformation about what is required by refugees, and what can be offered by higher education institutions.

“The Refugee Champion will be able to give staff across the university the information they need to ensure that all students have access to all that USW has to offer.”

The Champion will also promote the USW Refugee Sanctuary Scheme, which, through the Centre for International English, provides support to a limited number of eligible refugees to free English language preparation prior to starting an undergraduate course.

USW also plays an active part in the Welsh Universities of Sanctuary Committee, which is working with the national Universities of Sanctuary scheme to inspire and support HEIs to develop a culture and practice of welcome across their own institutions.

Professor Julie Lydon, USW Vice-Chancellor, said: “Mike’s experience of working with refugees makes him the perfect fit for this role. As the needs of refugees are constantly changing, this will be an evolving position.

“I’m very proud of this development and the work colleagues across the University do to provide a welcome to all students, however they find their way into the USW family.”  

#refugee champion