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Room to Heal joins the STAR ‘Equal Access’ campaign

Advocacy 3 October 2014

The Room to Heal community is pleased to have pledged support for the STAR/NUS ‘Equal Access’ campaign.

The campaign aims for all people seeking asylum to be recognised as home students for the purpose of higher education fees, and for their additional needs to be met by universities through financial and psychosocial support. British home students are eligible for student finance to help them cover tuition fees and maintenance grants. Under the current system, however, people seeking asylum, many of whom live on as little as £36 per week, are classed as ‘international students’, expected to pay up to £29, 200 per year in university fees.

Our dedicated Casework Team at Room to Heal already spends significant time working with our members to find and apply for college places, ESOL classes, and skills workshops. Sadly, time and again, we find that bright, focused people with huge potential are held back by practical barriers such as high transport and course materials costs that they cannot pay, a lack of pastoral care that acknowledges the enduring effects of trauma, and exorbitant course fees.

We believe that it is only fair that people who have fled war and torture, leaving behind their homes and families to seek safety in the UK, should have a fair chance to rebuild meaningful, productive lives here, especially whilst waiting for their asylum claims to be decided.

This is why we support the ‘Equal Access’ campaign.  We hope you will stand with us.

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