Message from the Vice-Chancellor and Students' Union President
As we approach a new academic year, we do so aware of the biggest refugee crisis since the second world war.
Members of University staff, students and alumni are increasingly concerned by the desperate situation facing refugees and many have asked how they can help.
As an international community, we also have direct and personal connections to the areas affected, and our University family includes those who are alive today because this country welcomed them or their families when they were fleeing conflict or tyranny. We include amongst our number many examples of how today's refugee can and does become tomorrow's teacher or doctor, musician or scientist.
The University and Students' Union are committed to doing our part to help welcome refugees and are ready in particular to assist our city as required. This has been our tradition since this institution was founded. University staff and student societies already work with refugees in Sheffield in numerous ways. Many have lobbied government to offer humanitarian support. Our University is a University of Sanctuary.
However, we also know that many would particularly wish to be directly involved in support at this time. For this reason, the University and Union have worked with the multi-faith chaplaincy, concerned staff and students and existing charities to provide a shared resource of information on how to help. This will be updated as further information becomes available.
As an international community deeply committed to the values of education we are committed to doing our part to build a more just and humane society. We want to do our part to support those who need this commitment more than ever.
Professor Sir Keith Burnett FRS
Vice-Chancellor of The University of Sheffield
Sheffield University Student's Union President
SU Officers statement, Mon 7th Sept 2015
David Cameron has announced the UK's plan to take in 20,000 Syrian refugees over the duration of the next parliament (over the next 5 years). Sheffield Students' Union Officers believe that given the scale of the crisis, it is, as David Cameron says, "right that we should do much more!" Over 25,000 Syrians applied for asylum to the UK in the year ending June 2015, and well over 4 million people have fled Syria since the crisis began. The Prime Minister's pledge to take in 20,000 Syrians and offer more in aid does not seek to solve the crisis and does not acknowledge the millions of refugees that are not from Syria; it is disrespectful to those affected and disheartening to all those actually working towards a solution to the crisis, which is why we think the UK must be doing much more than this.
We support all of our students who are refugees, our students from Syria and the Middle East, as well as their families, friends, and anyone affected by the crisis. This is why we cannot solely rely on our government to solve the refugee crisis; we must act as individuals and as an organisation. Keep an eye out to hear what your Students’ Union will be doing in response to the crisis and please get in touch (email@example.com) if you would like to get involved.
Sheffield Students’ Union Officers 2015/16