STAR & GRAMNet Workshop: “Chance or Choice? Understanding why Asylum Seekers come to the UK”, 8 May 2012, Glasgow

‘Chance or Choice?’ is an information sharing workshop jointly organised by the Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network’s Postgraduate Cluster and the University of Glasgow’s Student Action for Refugees group.

Date: 8th May 2012

Times: 6.15 – 8.30pm

Venue: University of Glasgow, Adam Smith Building, Bute Gardens Glasgow G12 8QQ , Room 916

Speaker: Prof. Heaven Crawley


In times of economic crisis the potential for public policy in areas such as asylum and immigration to be informed by myths, misinformation and often prejudiced public attitudes increases. One of the most significant of these attitudes appears around the issues of choice of destination for asylum seekers. A significant number of politicians, policy makers and the public appear to believe that asylum seekers are actually economic migrants who make decisions about where to seek asylum based on information about asylum systems, opportunities for employment and access to welfare benefits. There is a widely held belief that asylum seekers have a sufficiently detailed knowledge of these phenomena to make rational and informed choices about their final destination.

Professor Heaven Crawley will present her 2010 paper “Chance or Choice? Understanding Why Asylum Seekers Come to the UK” and there will be time to discuss the issues raised by the research and what academics and activists can do together to challenge ill-informed attitudes towards asylum seekers.

Professor Crawley is Director of the Centre for Migration Policy Research (CMPR) at Swansea University. Heaven has undertaken research and analysis on various aspects of UK asylum policy and practice over the past 15 years including gender issues in the asylum process, access to legal representation, the detention of asylum seeking children, age disputes and the process of age assessment, the conduct of asylum interviews at ports and the factors that influence public attitudes towards asylum and immigration. Heaven was previously head of asylum research at the Home Office, Associate Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) and Director of AMRE Consulting. The workshop will be followed by a light wine reception.