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National Symposium: People Seeking Asylum and Higher Education v1

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Room 107, Building 149, William Macmahon Ball Theatre, Old Arts Building

The University of Melbourne

Parkville, VIC 3010

Australia

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** Seeking Expressions of Interest **

Symposium Overview

Increasing attention has been paid to the barriers to accessing higher education for people seeking asylum in Australia who arrived by boat. If found to be refugees, they will be ineligible for Australian permanent residency and will instead be granted a Temporary Protection or Safe Haven Enterprise Visa. The only formal pathway to accessing higher education for this cohort is being granted admission on the basis of being classified in the full fee-paying international student category.

In recent years, a number of Australian universities have responded by offering ‘humanitarian scholarships’ to people in this situation. However, under-examined challenges exist related to the retention, participation and success of, and support for these students in their studies.

This one-day national symposium will bring together those invested in better understanding this topic. It will focus on identifying emerging challenges and future opportunities. The format will include:

  • a panel discussion of people seeking asylum and those from refugee backgrounds who will share their experiences of studying in higher education as a person on a temporary visa;

  • an exploration of community and university responses to facilitating access to higher education for this cohort; and

  • the sharing of research, case studies, observations, experiences from the classroom, and examples of good practice related to supporting people on temporary visas in higher education.

This symposium will work towards identifying key research/advocacy priorities and the development of an advocacy report, which can be used to speak to these issues (with - not for - students seeking asylum) within Australian universities and to Universities Australia.

Who can participate?

Anyone invested in better understanding this topic is welcome to attend, including current students who are seeking asylum, refugees on temporary visas backgrounds, researchers, HDR students community organisations, case workers, professional staff and practitioners within the higher education system.

EXPRESS YOUR INTEREST AS A PARTICIPANT (e.g., staff, non-refugee students)

We anticipate that there will be approximately 50 places available for staff participation in this event. In order to make the event as inclusive as possible, and to encourage participation from a wide range of stakeholders, we invite people working in universities, HDR students, and community organisations to write a short statement that outlines their personal and/or professional interest in this area. These expressions of interest will be assessed by the steering committee on the basis of ensuring the representativeness and diversity of the participants.

Please click on "REGISTER" and complete an expression of interest form by 31 July 2017. Successful applicants will be notified within two weeks of the deadline date.

EXPRESS YOUR INTEREST AS A PARTICIPANT (people seeking asylum or from a refugee background)

If you are from an asylum seeker or refugee background, currently studying in or thinking about studying in higher education, and would like to participate in the symposium, please click on “REGISTER” and complete an expression of interest form by 31 July 2017. Successful applicants will be notified within two weeks of the deadline date.

It should be noted that there are limited funds, so we may not be able to cover all of those who apply.

Funding request for people from asylum seeker or refugee backgrounds to attend

Participation at the symposium of people seeking asylum is very important. As such, some funds will be available for people to cover the costs involved in attending the symposium. To support the attendance of people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds at this symposium, universities and organisations will be asked to contribute through a donation. Although entirely voluntary, we recommend people attending as part of an organisation or institution donate $100. Those who are not supported by an organisation or institution we recommend a donation of up to $25. No donations will be asked of students and people who are unwaged.

Location of the symposium

Information on the location of the symposium at Melbourne University can be found here.

Acknowledgement of financial support

Funds for the symposium have been generously provided by:
Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University
Social Equity Institute, Melbourne University

Symposium Steering Committee

• Lisa Hartley, Curtin University
• Sally Baker, University of Newcastle
• Karen Dunwoodie, Monash University
• Asher Hirsh, Refugee Council of Australia
• Edmee Kenny, Multicultual Youth Advocacy Network
• Karen Block, University of Melbourne
• Caroline Fleay, Curtin University
• Mohammad Majid, Curtin University
• Sinead Coakley, Marist 180
• Saddia Mohamed, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
• Gillian Meek, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

Further enquiries

Any other queries about the symposium can be directed to Lisa Hartley from the Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University at lisa.hartley@curtin.edu.au or (08) 9266 1678.

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Room 107, Building 149, William Macmahon Ball Theatre, Old Arts Building

The University of Melbourne

Parkville, VIC 3010

Australia

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