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Sheffield College

ASSET UK Activities


With approximately 32,000 students Sheffield College is one of the largest in the UK. Of these students around 3-4% are asylum seekers or refugees who have arrived in Sheffield from over sixty different countries. Sheffield College like many other colleges has been keen to support asylum seekers and its provision has expanded, responding to the demands placed on it by the dispersal policy. Many asylum seekers arrive in Sheffield to find well-established communities (e.g. Yemeni or Somali communities). These communities provide a great deal of support. But for many asylum seekers there is no such support structure in place. There are more than thirty nationalities of student asylum seeker where there are less than five asylum seekers from their country studying at Sheffield College.

Asylum Seeker model

As part of the ASSET UK programme Sheffield College (SC) will develop a model for comprehensive asylum seeker provision, 'The Isolated Asylum Seeker', which can be adopted and modified by other Further Education Colleges wishing to provide services for asylum seekers in their area. This model will present a clear structure for curriculum, support services, advice and guidance, enrolment and partnership arrangements in the form of a Best Practice Guide.

Sheffield College will also develop a transferable Staff Awareness Raising Programme, which will explore the needs of, and the issues affecting, asylum seekers thus increasing understanding and sensitivity amongst support staff, lecturers and practitioners working with asylum seekers.

Orientation and Guidance

Three outreach advice and guidance points will be established in the geographical areas where the asylum seeker population is most concentrated. A transferable model for outreach delivery will developed and tested. This will include best practice assessment materials and diagnostic tools in order to prevent asylum seekers being placed on inappropriate courses with inappropriate levels of support. An orientation/induction programme specific to the region will be developed and tested for newly arrived asylum seekers. A comprehensive package of employment guidance will be developed and evaluated in order to help asylum seekers understand how the UK labour market functions.

Curriculum development

Sheffield College will develop, test and evaluate:


Specific support services will be developed and piloted after extensive research into the specific support needs of student asylum seekers in Sheffield has been carried out. with an aim to improve the retention and achievement of asylum seekers in education and training.

Sheffield College will identify issues affecting some asylum seekers, such as Muslim Women, those with mental health issues or cultural differences and develop respective Equal Opportunities measures.


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The UK Asylum Seekers Development Partnership - ASSET UK is part funded by the European Social Fund  under the Equal  Community Initiative Programme.

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Last Update: 17/06/2005


Source: http://www.asset-uk.org.uk/shefcol.htm