The Compass Project: a quick activity roundup

Isabelle Habib, Access Manager for Birkbeck’s Compass Project, reflects on a busy and fruitful year for the students involved 

The Compass Project is a flagship Birkbeck programme which supports sanctuary seekers into higher education. Each year, the Compass Project Sanctuary Scholarship  sponsors students from refugee and forced migrant backgrounds to do a degree programme at Birkbeck. As we come to the end of another successful year for the programme and its scholars, it’s a pleasure to look back and reflect on the various activities the students were involved in.  

Social trips  

Everyone deserves a break from their studies occasionally, so in the autumn and spring, Compass students attended a number of specially arranged social activities that ranged from visits to the British Museum to a trip to London’s famous Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, just around the corner from Birkbeck. Here, some of the students had their first ever experience of bowling!  

 

End of year celebration on the Birkbeck terrace  

To celebrate the students’ achievements this year, Compass scholars and their mentors gathered in June for an end of year celebration. Meeting at the Terrace 5 restaurant, based at the top of Birkbeck’s Malet Street building, the group enjoyed food and drinks and were all congratulated with a certificate for their hard work this year. It was really inspiring to see all the students together in one place with their academic mentors, and to hear about their rich experiences at Birkbeck over the year.  

STAR activism and education 

Birkbeck’s Student Action for Refugees (STAR) group, which is made up of students on the Compass Project who volunteer their time to campaign for refugee rights to education, rounded off the year with a day of positive action during Refugee Week. Then, together with other STAR groups around the country, Birkbeck’s students met on 25 June in Torrington Square to raise awareness. Even in the face of rail disruptions, the event had a great turn out from engaged STAR activists. Students and volunteers gathered for a delicious picnic and shared their experiences of university.  

The group then created a banner featuring slogans such as ‘refugees are welcome’, which they walked from Bloomsbury down to the Home Office in Westminster. Along the way, they discussed and learnt more about the significance of London’s central buildings, their connection and relationship to colonialism, and the lasting impacts that this history has had on the attitude towards refugees and migrants in the UK today.  

As the Access Manager for the Compass Project at Birkbeck, which works so closely with refugees and migrants, it was a delight to see Birkbeck host this STAR event, and we look forward to seeing more from the student group this coming academic year. If any other student’s wish to get involved, contact the group through the SU website.  

Well done! 

Finally, the whole Compass Project team want to say well done to all the students on the compass scholarship, who have come to the end of their scholarship with us, and we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours.  

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1 thought on “The Compass Project: a quick activity roundup

  1. Waleed Zuoriki

    An expressive picture of the wonderful meeting that the Compass Project arranged, full of happy and proud faces of the achievements that have been achieved during the past year thanks to the tremendous efforts of the Compass Project team, led by Isabelle Habib.
    During the meeting, expressive words were delivered by faculty members, monitors who attended the meeting, and former and current students, who expressed their gratitude and thanks to Birkbeck and Compass Project. The meeting included snacks and drinks provided by the university café. At the end of the ceremony, certificates of honor were handed over to a number of attendees.

    In another amazing activity, the University of Birkbeck hosted the gathering of Star Association members in the green square opposite the main gate, where the attendees gathered and ate various meals prepared in advance by the Star members, during which the publications and drawings of the campaign, which they later started a walk on the main streets of London and give some words to spread awareness of the issue of the refugees and the importance of the higher education for societies, individuals and nations.

    Reply

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