The University’s Equity Office – Te Ara Tautika is leading a programme of campus visits to help familiarise secondary students from refugee backgrounds with the University.
The pilot engagement programme works with Auckland secondary schools with high populations of students from refugee backgrounds (SRB). The programme supports the University’s commitment to being safe, inclusive and equitable.
To date, around 50 SRB and their families from James Cook High School and Kelston Girls’ College have participated in the programmes, which include campus tours, presentations and Q&A sessions. The students’ countries of origin include Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of the Congo.
While on campus in May, Kelston Girls’ College students heard insights and advice from two University of Auckland students who are from refugee backgrounds. Fatima Mohammadi is in her 3rd year of a conjoint BA/LLB studying politics, ancient history and laws. She told the audience that the transition from high school to university can be “challenging”, and she advised the students to “attend class, ask for help, and don’t be afraid.” She also emphasised the importance of keeping up with friends and joining clubs to meet new people.