This clip shows scenes at Oxford University, including lectures in the Refugee Studies Centre. It opens with soft piano music and shots of Hoi Trinh studying at the University, having been accepted into its Refugee Studies Program, the only one of its kind in Europe. In a voice-over he tells of his acceptance into the Program and his reasons for wanting to study at Oxford. Two of his lecturers, Professor Guy Goodwin-Gill and Professor Andrew Shacknove, are shown lecturing to the students about refugees and international law.
Educational value points
- Hoi Trinh (1970–), seen in this clip, is a Vietnamese–Australian lawyer who has worked since 1998 for the resettlement of Vietnamese boat people in the Philippines and Hong Kong. He left Vietnam at the age of 15 and came to Australia as a refugee. At 19 he started a law degree and graduated with a combined Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws. He left a successful law practice to pursue his humanitarian work, and has successfully relocated approximately 1,500 refugees.
- The clip shows scenes of Hoi Trinh achieving his ambition to study at the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University, the only centre of its kind in Europe. He is studying the ‘forced migration’ of refugees such as himself, his father and those Vietnamese refugees he has been working with since 1998. Such study enables him to see their issues in a worldwide context and to examine refugee law.
- As a former refugee, Hoi Trinh is fulfilling the dream of immigrant parents who sacrifice themselves to enable their children to do well. Hoi Trinh’s father was imprisoned for 3 years in Vietnam before fleeing to Australia. Hoi Trinh had a successful career as a corporate lawyer and was the 1999 Young Australian Lawyer of the Year. In 2002 he took up a scholarship to study at Oxford.
- The privileged environment of Magdalen College, Oxford, is shown, a contrast to the poor district of Manila in which Hoi Trinh was working on behalf of stateless Vietnamese. He was awarded the Chevening–Oxford Australia Scholarship, which allowed him to complete his Masters degree in Forced Migration within Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Program.
- Dr Guy S Goodwin-Gill, shown in the clip, has written extensively on refugee matters and is critical of what he sees as the challenge to refugee law that Australia has mounted through its response to asylum seekers, the so-called ‘Pacific solution’. This policy refuses to allow refugees to land in Australia and sends them to other countries to be processed.
- This clip shows Hoi Trinh listening to Dr Goodwin-Gill giving a lecture. Dr Goodwin-Gill was formerly the Professor of International Refugee Law at Oxford, continues to work for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and is currently a Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College at the University of Oxford.
This clip starts approximately 30 minutes into the documentary.
There are shots of walls, windows and rooms of a library where we see Hoi Trinh reading.
Hoi Trinh I was in the office in Manila when I got the news that Oxford accepted me into their program for 2001-2002. I went in and I opened my Hotmail account, and there it was – the email.
Professor Guy Goodwin-Gill is presenting a lecture to a full room of students. We see Hoi Trinh and other students taking notes.
Professor Guy Goodwin-Gill Finally, family unity – there was a major difference of opinion on the issue of family unity between those who believe the principle of family unity was such a principle as to constrain a state in its actions, in its policies and its laws; and those who would argue it was an interesting aspect of the migration of peoples but couldn’t control policy or practice. And the dissenting voices I regret were from the Southern Hemisphere.
Hoi Trinh is interviewed.
Hoi Trinh I guess going to Oxford is part of my dream. Going to Oxford, apart from the name that I was attracted to, because also because the Refugee Studies Centre is the only centre that caters for refugee studies in Europe, in the entire Europe. So if I wanted to understand refugee issues in a wider context and also to meet up with a number of interesting people coming from all walks of life, then I would have to go to Oxford.
We see Hoi Trinh in a classroom with other students, Professor Andrew Shacknove is presenting.
*Professor Andrew Shacknove*There is nothing in international refugee law that requires an asylum seeker to seek asylum in one and only one state. It seems to me that there’s a broader both policy and moral issue here, which is very complicated, and that is that there’s a whole tendency now to try to ‘manage migration’. You hear a lot about that. Enforced migration management.