Newcastle University Students’ Union (NUSU) has been shortlisted for a prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2018 in the category of Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community for a project supporting refugees and asylum seekers in the city.
North East Solidarity and Teaching (N.E.S.T) was established in the summer of 2016 initially to support refugees develop their English language skills and their children with homework. The project has now grown to incorporate creative craft classes; a STEM club for children; cultural visits around the region and online interactive English classes. During term time classes take place six days a week at the campus of Newcastle University and the Nunsmoor Centre in the city.
100 refugees and asylum seekers regularly attend weekend English conversation and grammar classes, and in total 300 have accessed support provided by N.E.S.T, delivered by over 300 Newcastle University students and supported by NUSU staff. Such is the value of the project and services provided by N.E.S.T that £32,000 of external funding has been secured in the last year to support the ongoing provision of services, learning materials and social trips in and around the region.
The THE Awards are widely recognised as the Oscars of the higher education sector and each year they attract hundreds of entries that exemplify the talent, dedication and innovation of individuals and teams across all aspects of university life, showing us countless reasons why our institutions continue to prosper.
The awards ceremony was held on Thursday 29 November at Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London.
Middlesex University and the University of Greenwich, in collaboration with The Refinery were crowned winners of the Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community category.
However, the judging panel thought the Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community category was an exceptional field, and wanted to commend Newcastle University Students’ Union for its work with refugees and asylum seekers.
This is a great achievement for all involved.