Auditorium stories and talks

11.40am-12.00 noon

Welcome and background to the day

  1. Welcome and Intro, ‘From “A Light for Aleppo” to “A Light for All”’, Harriet Harris MBE, University Chaplain.
  2. ‘Sanctuary Walk and Humanitarian Assistance Fund’, Alison Newell, Associate Chaplain

‘Edinburgh as a Sanctuary University’ VP James Smith is Vice Principal – International, and Professor of African & Development Studies.

  1. Michael Gallagher and James Lamb, UoE Digital Mobile Learning and refugee support, signposting a 20-minute workshop upstairs.
  2. Ewan McAndrew, open Education Team; Tomas Sanders, giving a plug to Wikipediea, Black History Month

Prélude in E minor Op. 28, no. 4 Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849): Played by John Kitchen, University and City Organist.


‘The Polish School of Medicine at The University of Edinburgh 1941-1949- a unique and enduring relationship’,Maria Dlugolecka-Graham MBE.
Maria is an ‘Edinburgh Pole’, an Honorary Fellow in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, and the University’s Polish School of Medicine Coordinator and Honorary Curator of the Polish School of Medicine Historical Collection. She has holds awards from the Polish Government and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and from Polish medical universities in recognition of her work with Poland which spans over 35 years, and an M.B.E. for Services to Polish–Scottish relations and to Medicine.

  • Maria can take people to visit the Polish Room at Little France, where there are multiple exhibits. Transport will be arranged.

‘Religious Communities and Migration: A Report from Europe’ Joshua Ralston, Lecturer in Muslim-Christian Relations, New College, regularly visits areas in Europe as a member ofWorld Communion of Reformed Churches task force on migration in Europe, and conducts research on refugee matters.

‘A new partnership to support refugees in Scotland’, Professor Charlotte Clarke, Head of the School of Health in Social Science and International Dean for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science, and Jake Broadhurst, Head of Global Projects, Edinburgh Global, converse about this new initiative with University of the People.
UOPeople is an online tuition free university which opens access to education to all qualitied peoples.

‘The Doctor With A Gallon Of Water,Eliane Du graduated from the UoE with a PhD in Clinical Psychology, in July 2017. She tells her story of being a child with the Vietnamese ‘boat people’, leaving her country in an overcrowded boat, on a treacherous journey

Prélude in D flat Op. 28, no.15 Frédéric Chopi: Played by John Kitchen, University and City Organist.


‘Working with multilingual migrant children’ Rob Sharples is Teaching Fellow in TESOL, Moray House.

‘Staged for Life’ John Grieve and Adam Bowers.
John works with Just Festival and is founder and Director of ‘Staged for Life,, an employability project that breaks down barriers that prevent people accessing arts, media and events industries. John drew inspiration for this project from work he undertook with the University Chaplaincy in supporting Soweto Melodic Voices, a youth choir in Soweto, and in leading a music recording skills workshop in Soweto. Adam will speak about his experience as a participant in Staged for Life, and what he has gone on to do.

‘Dance as self-education’.A 9-minute track following a short meditation
Recent ECA graduate, Adam Hussain, shares his body-based art practice through the conjoining of Sufi practices and somatic dance methods, exploring how improvisation can yield performative and unique knowledges about the self. Adam will be available during the day for people to speak with him about his presentation.


‘Stories from Sierra Leone’, Miriam MasonSesay, EducAid Country Director
EducAid is a UK registered charity which believes that the education of young men and women is essential to: unlock human potential, overcome poverty, improve wellbeing, build democracy, and that it is the cornerstone of stable development. We run an educational network comprising of free schools, teacher training, and tertiary programmes in Sierra Leone, and provide distinctive, personalised, top-quality, holistic education and support to vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans.

‘Scholarships and support for refugees and displaced persons, and Equal Access campaign’, Edinburgh Global and Amnesty Society
Chris Yeomans, Deputy Director, Edinburgh Global, and Euan Ferguson, Head of International Student Support, Council for At Risk Academics, and Edinburgh Global student support. Jordan McGuire is President of the student Amnesty Society.
Edinburgh Global leads the University of Edinburgh’s international strategy and services for staff, students, applicants, visitors and partners.

‘Academic citizenship beyond borders’, Sophia Woodman is Lecturer with the School of Social and Political Science and the Global Justice Academy. Her research includes citizenship, human rights, social movements in contemporary China, and Migration Studies.


‘STREET, Syrian tutoring programme’, Nadine Aktaa, Amer Masri, and others
Syrian coordinators Nadine Aktaa, Amer Masri, Associate Chaplain Ali Newell and students Felicity Roach, Zakaria Askif, Adam Ferron and Sohaib Ashraf and others meet weekly for 2 hours in the Chaplaincy to bring together newly arrived Syrian teenagers from various schools in Edinburgh with student tutors from the Islamic Society, Middle Eastern Studies Department and elsewhere, many of whom are Arabic speakers. It is a time of learning, fun and building relationships together.

‘Project Elpis and Raspberry Pi’ Alexandros Angelopoulos and Sam Kellerhals, environmental sciences undergraduates.
We have created Project Elpis (Greek for Hope), developing a solar-powered charging station for refugee camps that charges up to 120 mobile phones every day. This helps hundreds of people contact families and access vital information. We are upgrading our design and will include a Raspberry Pi 3 as a Wireless Access Point within our solar hubs so that users can connect to it over a wireless network and access locally stored educational, legal and other useful content securely and reliably. This content will include a myriad of useful mobile applications, along with educational content such as a library of books that refugees will be able to access on their mobile phones!

‘Sharing Languages: Edinburgh Students work with refugees in Germany’, Annette Gotzkes is Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of European Languages and Cultures, and Holly Warner and Genevieve Matthews are students of German.
They have worked with refugee children in Germany, teaching them German, taking them out into the community, and have since worked with schools to spread and show this work.

Brief response, Andy Shanks, Director of Student Wellbeing


‘Philosophy in Dialogue for Pre-Schoolers’ Laura Candiotto, Marie Curie Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh, School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, Projefrom ct: “Emotions First. Feeling reasons: the role of emotions in reasoning” (
Andrea English, Chancellor’s Fellow in Philosophy of Education, Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy Institute for Education, Teaching and Leadership, University of Edinburgh, Moray House School of Education, Lead on International Research Network on Listening and Education, “Listening Study Group”.

‘Philosophy in Prisons: Critical thinking and Community of Philosophical Inquiry’, Mary Bovill is a lecturer and researcher in the Institute for Education and Leadership, Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh.

‘Creative writing as a tool to explore childhood stories from Colombian former child soldiers’. Nathalia Salamanca-Sarmiento, PhD researcher at the University of Edinburgh. Her work focuses on exploring former child soldiers’ narratives to contribute to the understanding of childhood during war.


‘Light Up Learning’ Richard McLauchlan interviewing Thomas Anderson

Richard founder of Light Up Learning, interviews Thomas Anderson who has taken part in the programme. Light Up Learning provides one-to-one mentoring for high school students in Edinburgh and the Lothians. It aims to address issues of unequal access to education and disengagement in the classroom by creating low-stress, supportive, and playful learning environments, placing each student in charge of their own learning and gives them the resources, skills, and contacts they need to achieve their potential. 

‘Transformation at a Distance’, Darren Barber talks about the transformative power that distance learning had upon his sister Corinne, who passed away this year. A five year journey that highlights the levels and types of support provided to those who have access issues to institutes of higher learning

‘Love and the Pilgrim: reflections on Burne-Jones’ painting’, Carol Richardson is Senior Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Edinburgh


‘Spiritual awareness and compassion in healthcare’ Laura Candiotto, Philosophy, and Lekaashree Rambabu (Medical Student) and Ali Newell Associate Chaplain, who work on the committee that produces Tools for the Trade a poetry companion for Medics

‘Inspiring Live…Changing Lives’ Brian Cameron, Rachel Wignall and Jakob Assman, talk about the GeoSciences outreach programme
Students taking GeoSciences Outreach and Engagement course work in the community for a variety of organisations. We are dedicated to raising attainment levels through Widening Participation and encouraging young people to understand the value of further education. We develop resources which encourage and support teaching and research and we are pro-active in supporting and influencing the development of the curriculum in Scottish schools. We also develop and deliver Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for Teachers and Educational practitioners.

Final words from Liz Grant, Professor of Public Health and Director of the Global Health Academy