Universities must support refugee students

In the past two decades Australian universities and schools have received growing numbers of students from refugee backgrounds in line with increasing numbers of people accepted through Australia’s humanitarian programme, write Sally Baker and Jaya AR Dantas for The Conversation.

But there are concerns refugee students are denied access to equitable educational opportunities as a result of the challenges of settlement, competing demands on their time due to family responsibilities (both in Australia and back home), financial concerns and getting trapped in low-skilled jobs. In addition, transition is seen as something that only happens in the first year of university. This adds challenges for students like refugees who often have complex and ongoing needs.

A recent look at refugee students’ experiences of transitioning into and participating in higher education, undertaken in partnership with Newcastle, Macquarie and Curtin universities, shows refugee students are hindered by institutional assumptions about their knowledge of higher education, inflexible systems and limited supports offered to refugee students.
Full report on The Conversation site