As the international community headed to the first-ever Global Refugees Forum, held in Geneva on 17-18 December 2019, this Report is intended to be a contribution for stakeholders around the world – be it international and regional organizations, the academic community, national and local governments, philanthropies, civil society organizations, the private sector, humanitarian and development players – to come together and through collaborative and coordinated actions engage in a joint journey to unleash the transformative power of higher education in conflict-affected societies and among displaced populations.
Compared to the previous Report, prepared for an International Conference held in Lisbon in April 2018 on Higher Education in Emergencies, co-organized by the Global Platform for Syrian Students and Portuguese Government, this new edition has a four-fold aim: a) to complete and update the information on the topical issue of higher education in emergencies as, in the last couple of years, interest in this issue evolved. This change occurred not only as a result of the work done by international organizations whilst preparing, adopting and implementing the two new United Nations Compacts for Migrants and Refugees, but also thanks to a plethora of new initiatives taken by higher education institutions or by other civil society organizations to boost the access of refugees and forcibly displaced learners to higher education in particular in the context of the Syrian crisis; b) to compile and analyse available data on the provision of higher education to refugees, asylum seekers and students caught in crisis; c) to figure out the kind of road map necessary in order to achieve the new goal announced by the UNHCR in June 2018 of reaching a tertiary enrolment rate of 15 per cent among refugees in 2030, and also how to prevent other forced displaced learners in conflict affected societies from being left out; d) last, but not least, to develop further the concept of a Rapid Response Mechanism for Higher Education in Emergencies (RRM) and provide more details about this project in the making that is being championed by Portugal. Aimed at addressing higher education specific needs of refugees, IDPS, students in forced displacement at large and in conflict affected societies, the RRM is designed as a systemic and sustainable fast track tool to provide higher education opportunities in crisis situations.
(…) to raise the refugee enrolment in higher education to 15 per cent by 2030 an extra effort has to be made in order to reach out 439.165 refugees in 10 years’ time (taking 2018 as a baseline). This means that each year 35.133 new students should be enrolled in higher education. Unless all options to boost access to tertiary education are explored and expanded it will be hard to reach this goal.
Higher Education in Emergencies: on the road to 2030