The Refugee Studies Centre, a division of the University of Oxford’s Centre for Development Studies, has this month been awarded £2.5 million in government funding. The cash will be used to enable the furthering of several initiatives to increase public awareness of refugee issues.The centre applied for the support from the Conflict and Humanitarian Fund, a newly formed scheme of the Department for International Development, in April. The request was successful due to the RSC’s position as the only academic programme in the UK devoted to understanding the causes and consequences of conflict and forced migration in developing countries.The funding will be used to expand the Centre’s public information services such as the thrice yearly Forced Migration Review, published in three languages and distributed to 177 countries, as well as online. The periodical has a reputation as the leading practical journal on refugee and displacement issues.The RSC works closely with policymakers in government and international agencies, and intends to use some of the cash to employ a senior policy officer to make findings from research projects more easily accessible to these groups. It also aims to build partnerships with other researchers working on forced migration at universities in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.According to Professor Stephen Castles, the Director, of the RSC, the funding was awarded to the Centre “in recognition of the RSC’s position at the forefront of knowledgedevelopment, analysis and understanding on forced migration issues.”He added: “It is our aim to listen to the voices of refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people, and make sure that their needs and interests are not forgotten.We look for long-term solutions that help empower people, so that they can become independent and self-supporting. This funding will help us in our work.”Oxford has been a target for much of the controversy surrounding asylum seekers due to the existence of the Campsfield Refugee Detention Centre in Kidlington, six miles from Oxford. Protests against the treatment of asylum seekers there are ongoing.ARCHIVE: 4th week MT 2005
There are two graded races down for decision.The first goes to post at 12.10pm.