This summer, Bayswater Education is running summer camps for junior students at Halcyon International in Marble Arch, the University of Hertfordshire and the University of Nottingham. In keeping with our one-for-one model, Bayswater Foundation is delivering a two-week programme in August for refugees who would never have the same opportunities as our students. The programme will help these people improve their English and give them the skills to go forward with their lives.
On arrival in the UK, many refugees think their problems are over. They soon realise that this is the beginning of an onslaught of issues that make it extremely difficult to feel welcome here. Young people are often bullied at school because they don't fit in and can't express themselves to their peers. Adults who are highly skilled and desperate to rebuild their lives often end up in 'survival jobs' or unemployed because they can't communicate with employers.
Reports from the Refugee Council and Refugee Support Network highlight how refugees find it very hard to access support with their English language skills. Attending university is a primary aim of displaced students but globally only 1% of refugees get into high education. Refugees face a range of barriers when trying to progress to university, from student finance to challenges validating previous qualifications. This means that those with the academic potential to go to university, are often unable to move forward.
We need to do something about this. We need to give refugees access to the opportunities they deserve and make sure their talents and skills don’t go to waste.
Our programme will be aimed at two groups: teenage refugees aged 14-17 years old who are enrolled in secondary education to give them a taster of university life and adults aged 18-35 who may already have a university education in their home country and wish to return to full-time study or work but lack the necessary English skills.
The programme will include ESOL and academic skills classes, soft skills workshops such as CV writing and confidence building, guest speakers from local businesses and cultural activities. We hope that this opportunity will be a springboard for attendees, helping them to connect with university contacts, services in the higher education sector and potential employers.