A European approach towards giving more access for students with a refugee background in higher education can only be achieved by more joint and coordinated efforts of European universities and initiatives in refugee integration in higher education.

On this page you can find links to relevant websites, related Erasmus+ projects and European initiatives, as well as examples of local initiatives from EUCRITE partners and other universities highlighting innovative practices specifically concerning access and inclusion in higher education.


ZKF - Coordinating Center for Refugee Integration

An Initiative From Université catholique de Louvain

UCLouvain proposes a program to prepare asylum seekers and refugees for university studies.

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An Initiative From Technische Universität Darmstadt

As of October 2015, the Coordinating Center for Refugee Integration (ZKF) prepares and guides current and perspective students with refugee status for university life, serves as the central point of contact for refugees at TU Darmstadt, and takes on a wide-range of internal and external requests.

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SIMHE - Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education in Finland

ISSO - International Students and Scholars Office

An Initiative From Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

Metropolia University of Applied Sciences offers SIMHE services (Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education in Finland) for highly educated immigrants to recognize their competences and for guiding them to suitable educational and career paths.

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An Initiative From Communauté Université Grenoble Alpes​

The International Students and Scholars Office has as its main aim facilitating the arrival in Grenoble – and then helping with the settling’ in process – of international students, doctoral students and researchers.

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Global Platform for Syrian Students

UNESCO 2019 Report on Migration

The Global Platform for Syrian Students is a non-profit multi-stakeholder organisation, founded in November 2013.

This initiative is unique in that it effectively brings together the efforts and the contributions of the various stakeholders willing to back an emergency mechanism to support Syrian students: governments, international and regional organisations, donor agencies, universities, foundations, NGOs of different cultural backgrounds and faith-based organizations, the private sector and individuals.

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The 2019 GEM Report will continue its assessment of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal on education (SDG4) and its 10 targets, as well as other related education targets in the SDG agenda.  The Report will also present evidence on the scale and characteristics of different types of migration, and national differences in migration policies and patterns in relation to education.

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CARe - Career Advancement for Refugee Researchers in Europe

REIs - Refugee Education Initiatives &

OLIve - Open Learning Initiative

The CARe project (Career Advancement for Refugee Researchers in Europe) is a 22-month project aiming to support the integration of researchers with a refugee background into the European research labour market.

The aim of the project will be achieved through research and dissemination activities, by adopting a multi-level and multi-stakeholder approach. The activities will serve two main purposes:

  • Ensuring needs-based guidance and country-specific information on employment requirements and opportunities for the target group, through focus groups engaging refugee researchers; country guides/information sheets; and thematic webinars involving experts and employers.
  • Disseminating project results to the stakeholder networks in the project and the wider community, via EURAXESS centres and the EURAXESS portal.

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REIs2 builds on and extends REIs1.  In facilitating the entry of refugees to higher education, REIs2 continues high-impact university preparatory programs. In facilitating the long-term social inclusion of refugees, REIs2 continues its weekend programs which provide academic courses, language teaching, advocacy and career skills classes.

The purpose of the project is to facilitate the social and economic integration of newly arrived migrants and foster their inclusion into higher education as currently disadvantaged learners. The Refugee Education Initiatives (REIs) achieve this by upscaling to the European level an existing project, the Open Learning Initiative (OLIve, now called OLIve Weekend Program, OLIve-WP) running at Central European University since January 2016, and by taking what we have learnt from OLIve-WP and extending its scope and rationale into a university preparatory programme, the one year Refugee Access Initiative (RAI – but now called OLIve University Preparatory Program, OLIve-UP).

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VINCE – Validation for the Inclusion of New Citizens of Europe

The VINCE project platform provides:

  • Information, how validation is currently implemented in different European countries
  • Experiences of refugees, migrants and higher education staff involved in validation of prior learning
  • Guidelines for HE staff how to inform and advice migrants and refugees by using FAQ-templates
  • A generic training course design for HE staff, free to use to train staff at your higher education institution
  • Policy recommendations
  • Links to the online discussion forum to share experiences and discuss

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Scholars at Risk Network


Scholars at Risk is an international network of institutions and individuals whose mission it is to protect scholars and promote academic freedom.

By arranging temporary academic positions at member universities and colleges, Scholars at Risk offers safety to scholars facing grave threats, so scholars’ ideas are not lost and they can keep working until conditions improve and they are able to return to their home countries.

Scholars at Risk also provides advisory services for scholars and hosts, campaigns for scholars who are imprisoned or silenced in their home countries, monitoring of attacks on higher education communities worldwide, and leadership in deploying new tools and strategies for promoting academic freedom and improving respect for university values everywhere.

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HostFilm – Hospitality and European Film


At the crossroads between scholarly research and teaching, HostFilm contributes to the analysis of issues of pressing public concern through films. Films reflect power structures but also the moments that manage to transform or suspend those very systems of power. The project stems from the premise that visual culture and films in particular present difference in a direct  way. Films shed light on the physicality of bodies, their transitions and movements though different places, borders and boundaries and how they become reassessed and redefined in the process. Furthermore, films provide exceptional material to assess the visibility/invisibility of the migrant, his or her in/audibility, as well as the techniques of surveillance that are part of the hostipitality that awaits the foreign Other.


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MORE – an initiative by uniko (Universities Austria)

Irrespective of basic needs such as shelter, food and medical care, refugees require spaces to develop opportunities for the future. This is especially true for the youth who have lost access to schooling and (higher) education by fleeing their country – without support they might grow up to be part of a lost generation. Universities Austria (uniko) believes in the refugee’s knowledge, skills and talents and the contributions that they can make if successfully integrated in the receiving societies.

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UNICA – Academic Refuge

Worldwide, there are 21 million refugees fleeing their war-torn countries or being persecuted and forced to flee as a result of their beliefs and public engagement. Europe became a new home for 6 percent of those displaced, who are now trying to rebuild their personal as well as professional lives. The ACADEMIC REFUGE project arises from the need to provide refugees and displaced scholars with the necessary support to continue their academic careers on European campuses.

The two overlapping project objectives are:

  • Improve the capacity of European universities to assist refugees and threatened academics
  • Promote greater respect for academic freedom and greater protection for Higher Education values

Download e-Handbook “Promoting Core Higher Education Values”

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GREET Thematic Webinars

EDUFI has delivered three European-level thematic webinars for HEIs and other higher education stakeholders in Europe, with potential for much wider European and global use. Speakers at the webinars are representatives of European HEIs, European Commission, Scholars at Risk network and IIE Scholar Rescue Fund, as well as at-risk scholars who will share their own experiences with webinar participants. The three thematic webinars were delivered in the period February-March on the following topics:

  • Integration of highly-skilled refugees – the role of European higher education community (recorded webinar)
  • Students with refugee background: Entering the job market – Cooperation with stakeholders (recorded webinar)
  • Scholars with refugee background – How to create sustainable career paths? (recorded webinar)

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REACT – Refugees and Recognition

Refugees silouettes

The overall goal of this Erasmus+ project is to enhance the mobility, employability and access to further studies for refugees, displaced persons and persons in a refugee-like situation – including those without official documentation of their educational background.

The project builds on the recently completed Erasmus+ project “Refugees and Recognition”, which developed a common methodological approach to the recognition of refugees’ qualifications. Taking this work a step further, the REACT-project will develop and test this methodology in major refugee-receiving countries and in cooperation with higher education institutions.

The aim is to establish a more efficient and consistent approach to the recognition of refugees’ qualifications in Europe.

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S.U.C.RE. focuses on the response of the Universities to the academic needs of refugees/migrants students and scholars and to the formation of good practices guidelines through the development of training modules addressed to voluntary sector working in the field with the specific population.  Specifically, the project focuses on the processes required for the proper integration of refugees/migrants (students and scholars) in higher education as well as on their academic support after their acceptance/entrance in a University. In addition, it focuses on the psychosocial integration/support of refugees/migrants and their proper information on legal and health issues. S.U.C.RE. aims at creating educational/training material to be properly used by practitioners and interested parties.

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In the current refugee challenge in Europe, the social dimension of Higher Education (HE) is concerned with providing opportunities for refugees to participate in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). inHERE strengthens knowledge sharing, peer-support and academic partnership to facilitate integration and access of refugees in European Universities.

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Rapid Response Mechanism

The Rapid Response Mechanism for Higher Education in Emergencies and Conflict-affected Societies (RRM) is a multi-stakeholders project in the making, aimed at providing more, better and faster academic opportunities for students in crisis situations at large, who are either in vulnerable situations or face humanitarian emergencies created by wars, conflicts and natural disasters.

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