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DMU and the United Nations Together

To help support refugees worldwide, the United Nations has asked DMU to take the lead in engaging universities across the globe in its Together campaign.

In January, DMU visited the UN headquarters in New York to formally begin this work, inviting international universities to a summit held in one of the UN’s famous debating chambers, creating a global network of universities committed to finding ways to successfully integrate refugees into communities, while spreading messages of tolerance and understanding.

Students from DMU are now returning to New York to take part in a chat series event which will focus on developing a positive attitude to migration.

Two students, Hamdallat Abdulsalam and George Coyle, will join Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard in making presentations at the event on Tuesday 27 February. Find out more about the event here.

At the summit in January, students and staff from the eleven partner universities were joined by senior representatives from the UN as well as the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the UN.

See the full list of partner universities

Attendees debated the current challenges faced by refugees in local communities and shared ideas for practical ways that universities can use the skills, experience and voluntary power on their campuses to support those in need in their local areas.


Partner universities also signed a UN Together Action Charter to signal their intent to be part of the campaign.

DMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard, who led the discussions, emphasised the important role of universities in meeting one of the world’s biggest challenges.

He said: “We are enormously proud to have been chosen as the academic lead for the Together campaign. We are faced with a significant human crisis, but we have the same spirit and aspiration. Universities are uniquely placed to make a difference.”


The partner universities, which are from countries such as Germany, China, USA and Cyprus, will now put the action charter into practice before reconvening to discuss progress and decide the next steps for the campaign.

Perhaps the most important panel member of the day was ZamZam Yusuf, a refugee who is now a first year Youth Work and Community Development student at DMU, who outlined her experiences and explained the support that has been provided to her by DMU.

Following the summit in New York the first year Youth Work and Community Development student spoke to UN Radio to share her experience and encourage greater tolerance for refugees around the world. You can listen to her interview here.

Third year International Relations and Journalism student Olly Sullivan documented the experience from a student’s perspective in a blog for the Times Higher Education magazine. In his blog, Olly talks about the awe inspiring surroundings of the United Nations headquarters and the sense of unity he felt during the discussions about how universities can help refugees.

DMU has also been invited to joined the United Nations Academic Impact programme, one of the world’s largest higher education networks.

The UNAI - which has more than 1,000 members - aligns higher education institutions with the goals and mandates pursued by the UN.

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