PhD studentship for research into the role of UK Higher Education Institutions in the integration of refugees

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate School

University of Bath

Apply for a three-year studentship to produce a detailed analysis of the potential role of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the social and economic integration of Syrian and other refugees.

HEIs and refugee integration

The recent unprecedented influx of refugees from the Middle East into Europe together with the UK’s resettlement scheme for Syrian refugees have prompted calls for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to provide a direct response. Several universities have focused on offering scholarships to refugees.

Ongoing research at the University of Bath suggests a potentially far wider role, revealing acute needs amongst refugees around professional development and accreditation, language and skills acquisition, and preparation for the UK job market. These are needs that HEIs may be well-placed to meet.

As a population group, refugees evince many of the ‘particular characteristics’ identified by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) and Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) as negatively impacting success and retention, including a high incidence of disability, residence in ‘low participation neighbourhoods’, and a large proportion of mature students with significant constraints of time and finance.

Particularly in parts of the UK with little or no history of refugee resettlement and resulting lack of dedicated infrastructure, HEIs - with their educational resources, career guidance, sporting and leisure facilities, multicultural ambience and opportunities for employment - have a potentially vital contribution to make not only through educational programming but beyond: to processes of resettlement, integration and community cohesion.

The project

If successful, you will be involved in primary research that explores the following:

- the experience amongst HEI staff of recent responses by their employing institutions to refugees
- the experience of recent refugees within HEIs (especially those targeted for support as refugees)
- the needs of the wider refugee community in the areas of education, language and skills training, social interaction and access to employment


You will conduct your research under the supervision of Dr Jason Hart (Department of Social & Policy Sciences) and Dr Robin Shields (School of Management).

You will work primarily in the Department of Social and Policy Science. Here you will join a growing community of doctoral students and academic staff engaged in policy-relevant research concerning refugees and other migrants.

Award funding

If successful, you will be supported for three years. Funding includes:

- £14,296 (2016/17 rate) per year stipend
- Home/EU tuition fees
- an annual Training Support Grant

Terms and conditions and details of other awards can be found on the Graduate School website.

Funding requirements

To be considered for this funding you must:

- meet the entrance requirements for a Social and Policy Sciences PhD
- have received training in sociology, anthropology or a cognate discipline
- possess a solid understanding of qualitative social science research
- A good level of spoken (Levantine) Arabic is desirable but not essential.

Funding information

Funding applies to:
EU applicants (including UK)

Contacts and how to apply

Administrative contact and how to apply:

1. Apply to study
You must apply online for a full-time Social & Policy Sciences PhD.

You must quote the project title (research into the role of UK Higher Education Institutions in the integration of refugees) in your application.

There is no need to write a full formal research proposal in your application to study as this studentship is for a specific project.

2. Provide a personal statement
As part of your application please provide a personal statement of 500-1,000 words that explains your ideas about and interests in the research topic.

The closing date for the receipt of applications is 12.00 noon (GMT) on Tuesday 28 February 2017.

Interviews are preliminarily scheduled for 15 March 2017.

The studentship will begin either by 1 June 2017 or in October 2017. Please indicate on your application whether you are able to start by the 1st June 2017. Preference may be given to a suitable candidate able to start this academic year.

Informal enquiries

Project enquiries
Dr Jason Hart

01225 38 4156

Application enquiries

01225 38 6180

Application deadline:

28 February 2017