DMU takes 1,000 students to New York to spearhead UN refugee support campaign


Hundreds of students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are flying out to New York to help launch a global United Nations initiative to offer worldwide support to refugees.

The university has been asked by the UN to take the lead in engaging the higher education sector worldwide to be part of its Together campaign.

UN Building 2

It is therefore flying more than 1,000 of its students out to New York to embark on a variety of academic trips and visits around the city, and inviting universities from across the world to a launch event at the UN headquarters on January 9.

The summit will encourage debate on the current challenges for safety and dignity faced by refugees in local communities and universities, led by DMU, will share ideas for practical ways they can use the skills, experience and voluntary power on their campuses to support those in need in their local areas.

A UN Together Action Charter will be created for partner universities to sign at the event.

DMU has been chosen for the work it currently does in its local Leicester community providing support to refugees and people of all abilities and backgrounds across society.

In illustration of this, while out in New York, DMU students are volunteering at the RDJ Refugee Shelter in the heart of New York City to help support homeless refugees and asylum seekers.

They will also help to set up and deliver a children’s party for families in need across Harlem and will put together toiletry kits to be given to refugees at the Catholic Charities Community Services in Downtown Manhattan.

DMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard said: “The Together campaign fits perfectly with DMU’s vision and our belief in the important role of universities as a force for public good.

“DMU defines itself by its diversity and being welcoming and open to all. We are a university which works for the public good and so we are hugely proud and excited to have been asked to lead this campaign.

“We are looking forward to collaborating with universities from across the world to make a real difference to the way refugees are treated.”

VC Berlin lectern pic

The UN Together launch on January 9 forms the culmination of a week-long visit by DMU, which will see more than 1,000 DMU students and staff participate in a packed programme of academic activities which will bring the learning on their courses to colourful life.

A total of 30 different courses have prepared tailored itineraries for the students, giving experiences which will enrich their classroom learning and improve their chances of getting the career they want.

Film Studies students will go to the Museum of the Moving Image to learn about the history of cinema, while Advertising and Branding students will visit Times Square to see how the biggest companies in the world grab the world’s eyes.

Forensic Science students will see inside the workings of the New York Supreme Court and Engineering students will get to understand construction on the biggest scale at the Skyscraper Museum and Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum.

Prof Shellard added: “DMU has a truly international outlook and this is reflected in the 1,000 students and staff that will be taking part in this #DMUglobal visit to New York.

“The trip will provide students on courses from right across the university a unique opportunity to enhance their academic studies with relevant and meaningful experiences at some of New York’s most iconic locations and industries.”

DMU has a proud history of helping less fortunate members of the community. In the last five years, DMU’s volunteering programme has grown to deliver more than 120 activities and projects and almost 6,000 students have collectively contributed more than 85,100 hours of their time.
Posted on Thursday 21st December 2017

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