Support the Equal Access Campaign

Passed by Student Council on 3rd December 2015

 

What will we do?

The Student Council mandates EUSA to:

1.    Endorse the aims and principles of the Equal Access Campaign in calling on Edinburgh University to:

i)             waive or cover tuition fees for asylum seekers;

ii)            establish bursaries to cover the basic living costs of asylum seeker students at the University;

iii)           take adequate steps to make prospective asylum seekers aware of this opportunity.

2.    Lobby the University to meet the aims of the Equal Access Campaign.

3.    Pressure the University to present a transparent and accessible policy on this issue.

 

What is the background?

 

1.    Asylum seekers are given only £36.95 per week (£1921.40 per year) to live on. This is inadequate for funding a university education or meeting the costs of living in Edinburgh.

2.    Asylum seekers are not permitted to choose where their accommodation is located - all asylum seekers in Scotland are accommodated in Glasgow - and given their limited funds this may render transport to Edinburgh inaccessible.

3.    Asylum seekers are not able able to work and are therefore not able to take on a part-time job to help support themselves as many other students do.

4.    The University is growing rapidly and currently holds an endowment fund of £314 million, the third largest in the UK. It therefore has the capacity to meet these demands.

5.    NUS is campaigning for SAAS to extend support to asylum seekers so the University may not necessarily have to provide funds on a long-term basis.

6.    A petition set up by the Equal Access Campaign currently has 348 signatures.

7.    The campaign is in association with the National Student Action for Refugees (STAR).

8.    Urte Macikene, the EUSA Vice President of Services, supports the campaign.

 

What beliefs motivate the actions you propose?

 

1.    We believe education should be accessible to all regardless of background.

2.    Asylum seekers are financially hindered from entering Higher Education and therefore should be entitled to support.

3.    It is incumbent on Edinburgh University to provide the support required to make itself accessible.                                     

 

 

Submitted with 20 Student Signatures