The inHERE (Higher Education Supporting Refugees in Europe) project partner Campus France organised a Policy Dialogue on 22 May 2018 in Paris, on the eve of the Bologna Ministerial Conference, to discuss the required measures to support higher education institutions’ efforts in integrating refugee students and researchers.
Representatives from the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation welcomed around 70 participants from universities and other organisations. A European Commission representative gave an important insight into how different areas and programmes of the Commission address and support refugees.
Panellists and discussants at the event agreed that while universities engage with refugees in a very proactive and dynamic fashion, policy level support at different levels is of crucial importance. For example, institutional leadership must ensure resources and sustainability, as well as streamlining of admission requirements. At many universities, these issues depend on the personal engagement of individual staff. National and European policy makers should work towards improvement and recognition of infrastructures and provide funding support to both higher education initiatives and direct funding to refugees in the form of scholarships and grants. Presentations and discussions pointed frequently to the need for a better response to refugees under the Erasmus+ programme, and for a next round of the Bologna Process that places concrete focus on the social dimension and on the Lisbon Recognition Convention.
The outcomes of the event will be reflected in the inHERE Policy Recommendations which – along with all other project outputs – will be presented at the Final Conference to be hosted on 19 September 2018 at the Hotel Bloom in Brussels. In addition, the event will focus on fostering future synergies and collaboration amongst a range of institutions and stakeholders that are currently involved in international projects on the inclusion of refugees in higher education. The Final Conference aims to also feature a policy dialogue, bringing together several representatives from different European Directorates that fund such projects and initiatives. As spaces are very limited, you are invited to indicate your interest in participating. Further information will be announced soon.
The inHERE project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme and brings together UNIMED, EUA, Campus France, the University of Barcelona, Sapienza University and the UNHCR (associate partner).