Oxford Continuing Education Awarded £20,000 Bid for Diversity Fund

Three Department staff members have been awarded £20,000 by the University’s Diversity Fund. Dr Ben Grant, Departmental Lecturer in English Literature, Joel Atkin, Deputy Administrator and HR Manager, and Sam McIlroy, Head of Academic English and Joint Acting Director at the Language Centre, put forward a bid for a project entitled ‘Educational workshops for refugees and asylum seekers’. This builds on previous work done by Ben and Tara Stubbs, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literature at the Department, in conjunction with Future Pathways, which delivered creative writing workshops to survivors of abuse or neglect within the care system in Scotland. This project will provide a series of free workshops aimed at enhancing the skills and confidence of refugees and asylum seekers resident in Oxfordshire. 

The workshops will be in academic English, computing, and maths. They will be developed and delivered in collaboration with key project partner Asylum Welcome, and contribute towards the goals of Oxford University as a University of Sanctuary. As an integral part of the project, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) training will be provided to teaching staff, and the experience of the workshops will inform best practice in inclusive teaching within the University.  

Commenting on the successful bid, Ben has said, ‘We are extremely grateful to the Diversity Fund for giving us this opportunity to work closely with Asylum Welcome and their clients to deliver workshops for refugees and asylum seekers. We are confident that they will boost the skills and confidence of the learners. We are also sure that we will learn a great deal from the project which will help the Department for Continuing Education to be as inclusive and accessible as possible.’ 

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Published 15 February 2024