World Refugee Day 2022
On 20 June, as we mark World Refugee Day, we are reminded of the plight of refugees, their resilience, and their rights. Refugee youth play an important role in efforts to broaden access to higher education.
On 20 June, as we mark World Refugee Day, we are reminded of the plight of refugees, their resilience, and their rights.
Refugee higher education in situations of conflict and fragility was on the agenda at the 2022 UNESCO World Higher Education Conference, which took place in Barcelona from 18-20 May. Language, proof and/or recognition of prior learning are but some of the barriers refugees face in pursuing tertiary studies. The necessary preparation to undertake such studies is also often a concern for these youth, whose educational journeys have been disrupted. Connected learning holds potential for scaling access, but its success also requires us to address elements such as connectivity and digital literacy of both learners and facilitators.
Refugee youth themselves play an important role in these efforts to broaden access to higher education. We see students and graduates supporting each other in class and beyond. They reach out to their communities, raising awareness about the importance of education, about available programmes, and encouraging young women to enrol. They stand by peers when they when they struggle with their studies and feel they might drop out, providing moral support, tutoring or sharing techniques for success. Many of our graduates become learning facilitators (even JWL learning facilitators) themselves, or establish their own initiatives, and undertake our short-cycle Learning Facilitator programme to strengthen their knowledge and technique.
We will continue to strengthen and establish new partnerships to serve more refugees with even more relevant, quality and transformative educational avenues.
Today and every day, we stand with refugees, steadfast in our belief in equitable access to higher education, its potential, and that learning together we can transform ourselves, our communities, and our world.