The following comparative analysis of interviews carried out with 13 higher education institutions across Europe showcases examples of support offered for migrants in a refugee(-like) situation.
It discusses how these examples link to the overarching diversity and inclusion strategies, and how this link influences both the day-to-day implementation and the overall impact of the programmes.
All universities interviewed have a range of activities in place to support (potential) students and staff with a refugee (like-) background, including more broadly as newcomers in their city, municipality or region. As discussed in the section “Defining the target group” above, these initiatives may be open to students with different backgrounds – such as refugees, asylum seekers, or even all with a non-EU or migration background.
Activities can be split into two broad categories – the vast majority offer direct support to migrants with a refugee(-like) background (Table 5), whereas some focus on changing the narrative around migration itself (Table 6).
Direct support measures mostly address potential students or staff with a refugee(-like) background (Table 5). For instance, eleven institutions offer language courses for this particular target group, and in six this is part of an overall bridging course. Eight institutions have dedicated admissions services and special recognition procedures for admission purposes in place for applicants with a refugee(- like) background. Fee waivers and similar measures (offered at eight institutions), and buddy, mentoring or coaching programmes (present in six institutions) are also quite common. Guest student programmes or similar initiatives offer refugees the opportunity to participate in selected