Sanctuary Seekers’ Unit

Sanctuary Steering Group

Terms of Reference 2021


To coordinate activities across the university in relation to refugees and asylum seekers supporting the University’s ambition ‘to become an international centre of excellence in supporting refugees and asylum seekers. To become not only sector recognized for the excellence of our provision but to attain global recognition’. 



  1. To organise events in support of raising awareness about issues related to refugees and asylum seekers including an annual UOL refugee week.
  2. To organise appropriate training connected with supporting sanctuary seekers across the university with an emphasis on those directly working with sanctuary students.
  3. To work to increase the number of refugees and asylum seekers offered the opportunity to engage with the university in a variety of ways.
  4. To engage with third parties who offer financial or other support to get refugees and asylum seekers back into education.
  5. To include material related to refugees in the curriculum including representation on groups working on ’decolonising the curriculum’.


  1. To implement the university-wide strategy as outlined in the November 2020 paper approved at Executive Board.
  2. To more fully embed the needs of refugees and asylum seekers within the university’s culture and support systems.
  3. To find opportunities to help refugees and asylum seekers play an active role in the university community.
  4. To find opportunities for staff and students to volunteer to work with organisations supporting refugees and asylum seekers.
  5. To allow refugees and asylum seekers, including those not studying at UOL, to access to appropriate university facilities and services.
  6. To have 'sanctuary' as a standing item on relevant committees and groups across the university.


  1. To offer support and expertise to departments and individuals working with refugees and asylum seekers.
  2. To develop and support new opportunities across the university to engage with refugees and asylum seekers.
  3. To publicise the university’s involvement with supporting refugees and asylum seekers.
  4. To place the university at the heart of community engagement with those working with refugees and asylum seekers.
  5. To work with other universities to enhance opportunities across the sector and to promote best practice.

Reports to

An annual report will be submitted to the University Leadership Team, and to other groups within the university, as appropriate. 

Constitution and Membership

It is important that there is a representative from the following areas:

  • Centre for International Training and Education (CITE)
  • College of Life Sciences
  • College of Science and Engineering
  • College of Social Science, Arts and Humanities
  • Welfare
  • Admissions
  • Careers Development Service
  • Residential Services
  • Students’ Union
  • Leicester City of Sanctuary (External)
  • British Red Cross (External)
  • After 18 (External)
  • Philanthropy, Alumni and Community Engagement (PACE)
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Executive Board
  • Volunteering
  • Current Sanctuary Seeker

Duration of terms of reference and membership

To be reviewed every two years


Pascale Roussel, Sanctuary Seekers' Unit (CITE)

Frequency of meetings

Every two months minimum


Six members

Additional Information

The group will seek to be represented on groups and committees within the university and beyond, such as: 

  • Leicester City of Sanctuary
  • Multi Agency Forum (MAF)
  • Scholarship Group
  • Decolonising the Curriculum
  • Executive Board
  • ERD Social Impact Group

The group will work to promote the university’s corporate social responsibility and widening participation agendas.  The group strongly adheres to the founding principles of the university and will seek to actively work alongside those involved in the university’s centenary celebrations.  It will work alongside others in the university to explore and develop philanthropic fundraising opportunities.  The group is not only committed to working with and for others across the university but will work with groups across the city to promote common values and goals.

Note about terminology: 

The group recognises that there are ongoing discussions around terminology and that some organisations have started to use the phrase "people seeking asylum" instead of "asylum seekers". This point will be revisited when we next update our terms of reference.

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