UCL Grand Challenges


Social Justice for Women Migrants and Refugees

Engaging, communicating and improving access to higher education.

image of two women walking down a street

20 May 2020


Grant: Grand Challenges Small Grants
Year awarded: 2017-18
Amount awarded: £3,996


The project developed a model for collaboration between the UCL community and London-based charities working with women refugees and migrants, synthesising the expertise of these groups to design a programme aimed at strengthening access to higher education for women who are refugees or forced migrants. 

The project involved three stages:

  1. Meeting with potential course participants in two refugee charities to find out about their backgrounds/interests and then a return visit to present a draft course outline.
  2. Recruitment and training of UCL student volunteers to deliver the course
  3. The course itself, with over 20 participants, that consisted of 7 sessions: initial 1-1 or small group advice and support sessions; preparation for a trip; trips to the Migration Museum and the National Gallery; two sessions to plan a presentation based on the trip; and final presentations.  

Building on the discussions in the sessions, which demonstrated participants' interest and knowledge about issues related to migration, members of the project team successfully bid for a Beacon Bursary award to build knowledge with women from the two partner organisations.

Another significant outcome of the project was the opportunity for members of Lewisham Migrant and Refugee Network and the Helen Bamber Foundation to build links with UCL, to learn about educational opportunities in London, and to reflect on the experience of migration in London and the UK.

Outputs and Impact

  • Awarded Beacon Bursary funding for Bridging migration research and experience: Con-constructing knowledge about gender, migration and settlement.
  • Links built between the two organisations are forming the basis for further joint education and research.