University of East London Widening Participation

By | 1st June 2017

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University of East London Widening Participation

Student diversity and widening participation: award winner and runners up

The University of East London was the only higher education institution to offer an accredited course for refugees in the Calais camp.

University of East London Widening Participation

Winner: University of East London

Project: Life Stories – University for All

The University of East London (UEL) was the only higher education institution to offer an accredited course in the Calais refugee camp. Refugee entry to higher education is low and very little academic education is provided in refugee camps. Life Stories is a short course, taught by UEL’s centre for narrative research and school of social sciences in the camp between October 2015 and October 2016.

The students read and discussed inspiring life stories, including those of Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai and Barack Obama, and wrote their own life stories. They also attended sessions on philosophy and social theory, as well as photo, art and poetry workshops. Classes were open to all. Full registration depended on English skills.

The course provided five transferrable undergraduate credits and a certificate. It also demonstrates a readiness and commitment to higher education and builds networks of discussion and friendship between both students and teachers.

Of 37 registered students, 20 have now passed, four with firsts. Others will use the resit date.