Skip to main content

University of Hull celebrates refugee week 2019


The University of Hull is staging a series of thought-provoking and uplifting events for Refugee Week this month that will unite our communities and raise awareness of the plight of thousands of people around the world displaced by conflict, persecution or natural disasters.

As a University of Sanctuary, Hull already offers scholarship places to asylum seeker students, and between June 14 and 23 will mark the national awareness week with talks, workshops, a concert and a community football match.

Among the highlights is a free evening of projected images and stories to mark the start of Refugee Week. “Rohingya… between two worlds” takes place in Middleton Hall on June 17 from 6.30pm and features talks and photographs by humanitarian photographer Rebecca Robyns and University of Hull Professor Yasmin Merali, who is a refugee.

Hull-born Rebecca is a self-taught photographer who has worked throughout Southeast Asia with a range of NGOs who work together to improve the lives of women and children. She will present images from her 2018 visit to Balukhali Camp, Cox's Bazar, together with stories from survivor refugees that paint a stark, sobering account of their traumatic journey from Rakhine state, Myanmar to Bangladesh.

Yasmin Merali began her life in the UK in a refugee camp in 1972, as a consequence of Idi Amin’s mass expulsion of British Asians from Uganda.

Another key event is the Stories of Sanctuary concert taking place in the Donald Roy Theatre on June 23 at 4pm, featuring songs of courage and hope from refugees seeking sanctuary in the UK.

Primarily featuring Syrian refugees, the Stories of Sanctuary choir perform songs, stories and poetry about their experiences and their hopes for the future, many of which were written by the choir members themselves in a series of songwriting workshops in the summer of 2018.


“The University of Hull has a proud tradition of providing sanctuary through offering academics and students who have been forced from their homes a safe place to prosper and flourish. Refugee Week is a significant date on our calendar.”

Professor Glenn Burgess, Vice Chancellor at University of Hull

free football tournament for all ages will also take place on June 23 from 12 noon and will involve sanctuary seekers, members of the University and our local community. The event on the university’s 3G pitch on Inglemire Lane will be followed by refreshments and awards.

Attendance – whether as a player or spectator – is free and open to all. Families are welcome. To get involved, contact or call 01482 466491.

Sixth form students will also be taking part in a follow-up to Refugee Week with an educational event giving them the chance to learn about how and why Hull plays its part in offering sanctuary to individuals fleeing war and persecution, and how local people and institutions, including the University, attempt to support that effort. 

University of Hull Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Glenn Burgess, says: “The University of Hull has a proud tradition of providing sanctuary through offering academics and students who have been forced from their homes a safe place to prosper and flourish.

“Refugee Week is a significant date on our calendar. Events which educate and challenge the often negative perceptions of those seeking sanctuary are hugely important, and we are delighted to be able to join Hull and the rest of the country in celebrating the incredible contributions refugees make to our economy, communities and wider society.”

Learn more about Refugee Week activities here.


Media Enquiries

Please contact the Press Office on