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Refugee education conference chance to celebrate success

Refugee education conference chance to celebrate success and plan for the future

Celebrating success stories from educators and former refugees and developing programmes that provide a strong platform for the future is the focus of a two-day conference being held later this week.

The Refugee Education Conference (Thursday 1 & Friday 2 October) is hosted by AUT and the Ministry of Education and focuses on education for refugee background learners.

AUT lecturer Maria Hayward, the manager for AUT’s Centre for Refugee Education, says the topics to be covered at the conference are particularly important given the growing need for refugee resettlement.

“In the current context of an exponential rise in refugee numbers, countries like New Zealand are being asked to contribute more towards supporting international efforts. Part of that support lies in permanent resettlement and New Zealand has agreed to welcome more refugees over the next two to three years.

“It is critical that our resettlement education programmes are well targeted, are consistent with recommendations and findings from current academic literature, both in terms of successful models of support as well as professional engagement.”

“This will ensure that services offered provide good use of government funds and that refugees, themselves, after their difficult and unplanned journeys, are able to begin new lives on a robust platform.”

“The theme of the conference is ‘celebrating success’ so we’re providing opportunities to share those success stories – and there are many – including one of our speakers who was a refugee and is now a very successful and internationally recognised businessman.”

Hayward says the conference also includes panel discussions with former refugees so attendees have the opportunity to hear authentic input about their experiences in the New Zealand education system.

ENDS

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