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The Refugee Studies Centre works to enhance knowledge and understanding of the issues and impacts of violence, dictatorship, environmental change, and food insecurity on the lives of displaced people around the world.

Refugee studies

Refugees and forced displacement are rarely far from the news. Today, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that there are over 51 million displaced people around the world – more than at any time since the Second World War. Conflicts in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, and the Ukraine have sparked major contemporary refugee movements. 

The RSC is a multidisciplinary teaching and research centre which forms a part of the University of Oxford’s Department of International Development. Established in 1982, it has won an international reputation as the leading centre for research and teaching on forced migration, work which embraces a commitment to improving the lives and circumstances of forced migrants. In recognition of its contribution, the RSC was awarded a Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.    The RSC has not only contributed to the study of forced migration, its members have established that academic discipline and continue to shape its contours and direction.  It is not only the most long-standing centre for refugee studies in the world, it remains unique is its range of multi-disciplinary scholarly activities.

 The RSC was privileged to receive a number of endowments in its early years to support its research, teaching, and outreach activities.  Our teaching activities are at the centre of our work. Our staff offer teaching on our annual 3-week Summer School for practitioners, and on the doctoral programme and Masters degrees at the Oxford Department of International Department, notably the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies.  Our four permanent academic staff cover a series of disciplines, including anthropology, law, political theory, and international relations, and are established, highly-regarded scholars in their own disciplines, as well as in forced migration studies.  With the successful fund-raising and appointment for the post of the Andrew W Mellon University Lecturer in International Human Rights and Refugee Law in 2013, the RSC's uniquely multi-disciplinary approach to refugee and forced migration studies was further enhanced. Meanwhile, our postdoctoral, research staff, and associated doctoral students contribute wider expertise in sociology, geography, and economics. Our regional expertise covers Africa, the Middle East, Europe, South East Asia, and Australasia.

Why give?

At Oxford we provide the knowledge base and inspiration for new policies to address these challenges and to promote sustainability and social change and the preservation of human diversity and culture. Economists, sociologists, lawyers and political scientists hold offices in governments and leadership worldwide and policy makers turn to Oxford for research and advice.

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