Students to visit Cyprus to explore new ways of helping refugees


Students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are travelling to Cyprus to explore new ways of helping refugees and migrants.

DMU has been asked by the United Nations to take the lead in engaging the higher education sector worldwide to be part of the #JoinTogether campaign and will visit a partner university, Frederick University in Nicosia, to discuss new ideas of how to support and integrate refugees.

Cyprus flag web

The group of eight students will spend five days in Cyprus thanks to #DMUglobal, the university’s pioneering international experience programme, and #DMUlocal, which gives students opportunities to volunteer in communities in Leicester and further afield.

They will go to a Refugee Reception Centre, visit Cyprus’ Secretaries of Internal Affairs and Foreign Affairs and take part in a #JoinTogether event at Frederick University on Thursday 18 October.

DMU students will be joined by counterparts from Frederick University and will be welcomed by the university’s Vice-President before watching an anti-trafficking film.

They will then split into smaller groups to discuss what else #JoinTogether partners can do to support refugees and asylum seekers and will present their ideas back to the rest of the group.

A vote will be held to decide which projects to take forward and students and staff will pledge to continue the work when they return to Leicester.

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Nabeelah Ahmed Omarjee, who is studying for a PhD in Cognitive Psychology, believes the trip will provide students with a chance to gain a wider perspective on what can be done to assist refugees and migrants.

She said: “It’s a great opportunity to work with a university abroad, see what they’re doing, how we can improve our services here and share knowledge.

“I think it’s really important to share knowledge in this situation because it’s a global issue and we all need to do our part. I’m keen to learn more about we can do.”


The group in Cyprus, which will be led by DMU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Andy Collop, will also take part in DMU’s 24-hour #LoveInternational event on Thursday 18 October by connecting back to campus via video link.

The #LoveInternational event is being held in support of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are objectives to improve a broad range of ecological and humanitarian issues including poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change and social justice.

DMU has committed to embedding the SDGs into the university’s curriculum, covering all aspects of DMU’s teaching, learning and research.

The DMU delegation will get the 24-hour event underway by appearing on the Vijay Patel Building big screen to share the experiences of the students in Cyprus.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Andy Collop said: “DMU is proud to be the higher education lead for the #JoinTogether campaign and to be playing a key role in universities’ efforts to support refugees and migrants around the world. The ideas, passion and commitment of our students have been a central feature of our work so far and I’m delighted that, with our partners from Frederick University, they will get another international opportunity to share ideas and discuss new projects.

“Meanwhile back in Leicester we will be highlighting our commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and I’m delighted that we will be able to open the 24 hour event at DMU by sharing the experience of our students in Cyprus.”

Posted on Monday 15th October 2018

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