EUniWell staff met to find best practices and support for refugee students and scholars

03/03/2023 | by Lena Kulmala, Ariane Elshof | European Universities Staff Students

On 9-10 February 2023, the EUniWell working group “Refugee scholarship & inclusion” met in Cologne with project participants from the Seed Funding project “Being an inclusive University for refugee students”. The aim was to exchange information about the activities for refugee students and scholars at risk at the respective universities.

A group picture of the workshop participants.
Photo: Fatih Uzun, Academic Refugee Suppport
A man, on the left of the picture, holds up a poster; next to him on the left is a woman gesticulating as she talks. Workshop materials can be seen in the background.
Photo: Fatih Uzun, Academic Refugee Suppport
Workshop participants sit spread around several tables and talk.
Photo: Fatih Uzun, Academic Refugee Suppport

Participants from nearly all EUniWell universities met up for an exchange on how to identify best practices and a way forward in order to align and provide support and services for refugee students and scholars within the Alliance. FThey also discussed how to strengthen the work through the Alliance and discussed new joint initiatives to include refugee students and scholars in EUniWell.

The working group presented past cooperation projects, such as the results and experiences of the second Seed Funding Call project “Being an inclusive University for refugee students” (Participating universities: University of Birmingham, University of Cologne, University of Florence, Leiden University, Linnaeus University). Together, participants developed a range of ideas on how to continue the work of strengthening pathways to higher education for refugees, how to identify activities to support academic enrolment and how to reduce the constraints that produce discrimination by also including regional stakeholders.

Existing scholarship schemes for refugee students and scholars at risk at the University of Cologne were presented and discussed. This served as a starting point to discuss possibilities of a common scholarship fund within EUniWell. A final result is still to be determined, as the challenges for refugee students and academics are very different in the various member countries.

On the second day Dr. Graham Harrison, Managing Director of EUniWell, gave an insight into the future activities of EUniWell and how programmes for refugee students and scholars at risk will be considered in the future. will feed into the further development of the EUniWell network, e.g. in applying for funding for scholarships or in organising a training week for staff working with refugee students and scholars.

All in all, it was a productive and significant meeting that made mutual perspectives more tangible and encouraged long-term interpersonal cooperation. The next virtual meeting of the partners to discuss concrete future activities will take place in mid-March 2023.

The leadership of the EUniWell working group "Refugee scholarship & inclusion" (Linnaeus University) organised the event in cooperation with the Academic Refugee Support of the International Office of the University of Cologne and EUniwell staff at the University of Cologne.  The workshop was supported by a large part of the Alliance, including the University of Konstanz, one of its youngest members.

Participants included:

University of Birmingham, England

University of Cologne, Germany

University of Florence, Italy

University of Konstanz, Germany

University of Murcia, Spain

Leiden University, Netherlands

Linnaeus University, Sweden


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