Skip to main content

The Compass Project

Birkbeck has worked with sanctuary seekers since 2016 when it launched the Compass Project, a programme designed for and targeted towards people from forced migrant backgrounds who would like to continue their education at university.

At the heart of this provision is a commitment to ensuring that the university is welcoming, supportive and accessible to students who face many barriers to access and inclusion in the higher education context.

What is the Compass Project?

  • The Compass Project offers several pathways into university education at Birkbeck for people seeking asylum in the UK. 
  • We run a series of workshops and events designed to provide people from forced migrant backgrounds with the knowledge and skills to start their academic journey. We advise on the level of skill and preparation needed to apply and study at university, giving clear guidance on the best study options.
  • We work closely with colleagues outside of Birkbeck who support and help individuals access educational opportunities, to ensure university is accessible for all who seek to learn.
  • We strive to be a strong voice and critical friend to the wider education sector in promoting and supporting routes into learning for forced migrant communities and sharing the benefits this brings to all. 

What our students say

Community partnerships

The Compass Art project

  • Birkbeck has been working with Anna Konik, an international film artist, in the production of a film based on the experiences of seven current and former Compass scholars. 
  • The film is set to premier in the summer of 2021. 
  • Updates on the film will be added to the Twitter page.

University of Sanctuary

  • Birkbeck is in the process of obtaining its Sanctuary Status as an institution. This is a prestigious award which will recognise the efforts and commitments of Birkbeck and its partners in this work. 
  • Read more about the University of Sanctuary mission

Further information