Tackling trauma in the classroom

University of Leicester shines light on supporting refugees

The University of Leicester is devoting a week to highlighting initiatives that support refugees and to celebrate their contribution to Leicester life.

The University has created a rich programme of activities to support Leicester’s status as a City of Sanctuary from Monday 12 to Saturday 17 November 2018.

One event looks at Trauma in the Classroom – a training session by Aleks Palanac, a language tutor who has had experience of teaching people in refugee camps. The event on Friday 16 November looks at working with trauma, creating a safe space and reducing trauma symptoms, among other factors.

Aleks said: "Although we are usually not trained therapists, we, as teachers, can create the conditions in which refugee students who have experienced trauma can begin to recover and even grow from their experience."

The University is committed to ensuring that it is a place that is understanding towards the needs of refugees and asylum seekers, is welcoming to them and provides opportunities through a range of initiatives.

Phil Horspool, from the University’s English Language Teaching Unit and Chair of the University of Sanctuary steering group, said: "As part of our commitment to becoming a University of Sanctuary, and offering practical support for refugees and asylum seekers, we have put in place a number of initiatives and organised public events.

We have supported refugee art exhibitions and public performances and, on campus, we provide a programme of free English language classes, hold sessions for refugees and asylum seekers on pathways to higher education and hold regular talks and events to raise awareness of the experiences of refugees."

The special University of Leicester refugee week – Breaking Barriers - will feature a programme of events including film screenings, a conversation cafe, a training session for teaching staff, a volunteering fair, a mini open day for refugees, and a closing show with a local comedian. All events are free and open to all, but please book your place through Leicester University of Sanctuary Facebook page / Eventbrite.