University and Student Union statement on the situation in Afghanistan

26 Aug 2021

We are deeply concerned about the situation in Afghanistan and the impact it will have on members of our community, particularly those with family and friends still in the country. We also acknowledge those members of staff who may have served or worked in Afghanistan themselves or had family members who have, and the impact this situation may be having on you.

Alongside other Universities of Sanctuary, we stand in solidarity with those impacted and will continue to welcome Afghan students, academics, and researchers seeking sanctuary with compassion. We have been working closely with our partners to support those at risk both in the UK and Afghanistan.

We are in contact with students where our records show they may be affected by this ongoing situation. We are supporting our Afghan students help in whatever way we can to get them to the UK to study with us. We are also working closely with the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA) to support Afghan academics who may be displaced by these events.

Our Forced Migration Network and Student Action for Refugees group are busy planning a fundraising drive at the start of semester to support the Refugee Education UK - Emergency Education and Wellbeing Support Scheme for Afghan Children.

We are also planning to offer ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) provision on-campus for locally-based refugees and asylum seekers through our links with the Winchester City of Sanctuary group.

Lastly, we are calling on our local and national government to support more Afghan refugees and asylum seekers enter the UK and, where possible, access higher education.

Support for staff and students

We know that many of our community may have been affected by the recent developments in Afghanistan.

If you are concerned for friends and family impacted by the situation, or have been personally affected by what is happening in Afghanistan, then there is emotional support available for you within the University.

The Mental Wellbeing Service is also available to students (and staff, in support of students). Please contact the service if you need support for yourself or to reach out to other students in need by email or call 01962 827341.
You can also visit the Winchester Student Union Advice Centre - more information available here.

If you need out-of-hours support or urgent support in an emergency please contact NHS Services or the emergency services. Other available support can be found on the student mental wellbeing intranet page.

The Chaplaincy offers support to everyone at the University, whether you are a person of faith or none. The multi-faith Chaplaincy team offer a listening and confidential ear, and prayer for those who seek it. Email

Staff can also access our Staff Counselling service or the free Employee Assistance Programme for independent 24/7 telephone support line and online services. Call 0800 174 319 or visit the staff wellbeing intranet page to find out more.

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