Arqus holds a webinar about refugee students in the European higher education sector

Students reading something in a computer.

On 1st July, from 10 am to 12 pm CEST, Arqus organises the webinar “Challenges and opportunities for refugee students in the European Higher Education Sector – from best practices to institutional strategies”.

Access to higher education is still marked by unequal possibilities. Only 3% of refugee youth participate in tertiary education, whereby the number of unreported cases is suspected to be much higher. (see: UNHCR report “Coming Together For Refugee Education. Education Report 2020”).

On 1st July from 10 a.m. till 12 p.m. (CEST), the task force “Enabling refugees” of Action Line 2 would like to invite all Arqus universities’ members to its first of this year’s two webinars on “Challenges and opportunities for refugee students in the European Higher Education Sector – from best practices to institutional strategies”

It is not only this precarious number of the UNHCR that reminds us that access to higher education is still marked by unequal possibilities and hurdles that are too difficult to overcome. Even people with years of work experience in their home countries, for example as doctors, teachers or lawyers, face battles to have their professional degrees recognized throughout Europe and are often forced to work below their educational level. Others who have fled their countries need to deal with the recognition of their previous educational attainments. It becomes especially difficult if the documentary evidence of their qualifications has been lost as a result of their flight. So, interruptions in the educational biography, lost documentation, mental health and trauma, language barriers and bureaucratical challenges are only a few obstacles that keep persons with a refugee background from being fully integrated into the European Higher Education Systems.

So, the members of the task force are very glad to have organized their first interactive webinar that will address these issues and give new impulses on the topic. To do that, they would like to particularly encourage administrative and academic staff working in various projects to support refugees and asylum seekers in higher education institutions, as well as students and researchers with a refugee background to register (registration link below).

The webinar aims to inspire dialogue and will be the first step to developing new ideas and strategies in order to dismantle barriers in tertiary education and to create a flexible model for admission which could also be adopted by other European institutions outside the Alliance.


Welcome by the Action Line Widening access, inclusion and diversity.

Block I – Best practices on integration into the university system
The INTEGRA Programme: language & preparation courses for refugees and asylum seekers to enter study programmes (Stefanie Kölling and Helen Matthey, Leipzig University).

  • Programme FAIRE and DU Passerelle: programs for refugees and asylum seekers (Alexa Pugh and Fabienne Ferrons, Jean Moulin 3 Lyon).
  • Short Q&A about the presentations.
  • Breakout sessions on challenges and chances for refugee students: What must change?

1.    Financial and Social support (moderated by Graz and Leipzig)
2.    The rocky road to admission (lack of documentation, language barriers, restricted programmes etc., moderated by Leipzig)
3.    Student well-being: a global approach (mentoring programs, student peers, mental health etc., moderated by Lyon)
4.    Enabling refugees: a student perspective (moderated by Granada)

Block II – European experts on inclusive universities and refugee qualifications

  • "The European Qualifications Passport for Refugees” project and recognition of refugees’ qualifications. Marina Malgina, NOKUT, Norway.
  • Refugee access to higher education in Italy. “The Manifesto on an Inclusive University”, Michele Telaro, UNHCR, Italy.
  • Final Summary and End.

The webinar will be run on Zoom, administered and moderated by Leipzig University.

REGISTRATION: Register until 12 pm CEST on 30th June, through the following link.

(The zoom link of the webinar on 1st July will be sent by e-mail to the registered people between 28th to 30th June)