In 2015 a team of students from Oxford University travelled to Sofia with OXAB (Oxford Aid to the Balkans) to volunteer with underprivileged children in refugee camps throughout the Balkan region. Our founder Anna noticed there were many young refugees whose study in their home country had been interrupted by conflict and persecution, and who had limited opportunity to study in their camps.
Motivated to expand Oxford's resources to those seeking asylum, Anna founded OXPAND and began contacting tutors, students and translators - offering them the exciting opportunity to forge partnerships with refugees, keen to further their education through tailored online short-courses.
She quickly appointed a dedicated team and currently has over 40 Syrian refugees signed up to take courses, ranging from French to mechanical engineering. These numbers are anticipated to grow considerably as OXPAND reaches out to more camps to spread opportunity.
Whilst some basic educational provision is given to younger children staying in refugee detention or reception centres, young adults who were previously studying in university have limited to no opportunity to study.
OXPAND is dedicated to creating those opportunities. We offer our short-courses to young asylum seekers living in our partner refugee camps, detention centres of seeking refuge in other countries. They continue the study of any subject of their choice, the enrolment criteria being that prior to their displacement they were studying or were about to begin in university.
In November 2017 OXPAND launched our first bursary scheme, offering 6 displaced students £100 grants to help with extra financial support for their studies, work or perhaps an interim period. Applicants do not have to have completed an OXPAND course in the past. You can apply for either yourself or a nominated recipient
To qualify, the recipient must
- Have recently sought or be seeking asylum
- Provide your name and age
- Provide 100-150 words explaining your current situation (work, volunteering, migration, study etc.)
- 250-300 words explaining how the grant would benefit you
Applications and queries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact points on our homepage. Deadline is midnight on 15/01/2018.