Empowering Refugees through Education: A Collaborative Leap Towards Inclusive University Opportunities.
The Displaced Student Project is a collaborative initiative between Refugee Education UK (REUK), Student Action for Refugees (STAR), and University of Sanctuary (UoS), aimed at making university education more accessible to refugees in the UK.
How we did it
Displaced Student | Hosting & Support | Website Design & Development
Working together to make a positive impact on the lives of refugees.
Refugee Education UK (REUK), Student Action for Refugees (STAR), and University of Sanctuary (UoS) partnered to improve the accessibility of university education for refugees in the UK. Hewitt Matthews were responsible for creating a user-friendly platform to centralise information on available scholarships and opportunities for refugees.
The key priority for the charities was to give those in need, access to education where this may not have been possible previously. REUK believe this is what it takes to rebuild the lives lost and rekindle a refugee’s hope for the future however, there are often numerous & complex barriers faced when trying to access education which is why REUK teamed up with STAR and UoS on this project.
STAR is a national network of students building a more understanding and just society where refugees are welcomed and can thrive in the UK.
UoS offers a similar service to STAR as their aim is to ensure that Higher Education institutions are a place of safety, solidarity and empowerment for people seeking sanctuary.
Refugees historically face multiple complexities when accessing education opportunities due to scattered resources and lack of streamlined information. These 3 incredible charities aimed to alleviate this by providing a platform that listed all opportunities in one place.
Additionally, education providers often struggle to reliably access and promote opportunities to refugees and so, a solution for this side of the equation was also required.
Hewitt Matthews first carried out a full design process, keeping user experience, ease of navigation and clarity of information in mind throughout
Once the Design Phase was finalised, Hewitt Matthews could then developed the platform on WordPress. The final product allows both refugees and education providers to connect swiftly and showcases the range of available opportunities, from university scholarships to small grants and English language courses.
The final website offers accounts for universities whereby they can create an account which is then manually reviewed & approved by the DSO team. Once approved, universities could publish their own opportunities with contact information linking directly back to the relevant teams, speeding up the connection process even further.
Hewitt Matthews developed a centralised, user-friendly platform that lists scholarships and opportunities for refugees.
The platform built was scalable and future proof, allowing thousands of opportunities and users to interact efficiently. It featured a bespoke vetting system for quality assurance and a reliable search function for relevance. The platform won a Silver award at the UK Dev Awards 2023 and within a few weeks, 85 UK universities had signed up, providing 119 life changing opportunities!
The platform has been instrumental in changing the way these charities support refugees, making a significant and positive difference to the lives of thousands of refugees. This successful project demonstrates the power of collaboration in creating impactful digital solutions. We are extremely proud to have played a part in such an important project.
The work Hewitt Matthews have completed will change the way we're able to support refugees and will dramatically improve the positive change REUK and our partner charities can have on the lives of those in need of education opportunities in the UK. We're very excited to see how far this platform can go.