European Universities Commit to Help Refugees

European University Association (EUA), of which CEU is a founding member, urges universities and governments to help refugees to gain access to higher education by providing information, flexible entrance conditions and language courses among others.

“Access to higher education is surely one of the best ways of helping student refugees to gain qualifications, enabling them to seek employment and pursue a career and thus build a life for themselves and their families,” says EUA President Rolf Tarrach in EUA’s press release on the initiative. EUA acknowledges the efforts made by universities so far in response to the refugee crisis, but it urges both universities and governments to do more. The associations main recommendations are the following:

Ensuring the broad provision of information on the various educational opportunities open to refugees;

  • Developing foundation and bridging courses and specific programmes (propaedeutica) that allow refugees to acquire the necessary skills for entering higher education;
  • Providing language teaching as a key element of societal integration and a prerequisite for successfully completing a study programme;
  • Guaranteeing access to education for school age children;
  • Waiving or shortening ‘waiting periods’ to enter higher education and to qualify for student financial support and benefits; 
  • Offering access to higher education also for non-recognised refugees;
  • Ensuring flexible conditions, procedures and processes for the recognition of degrees and diplomas, periods of study and prior learning, in line with the Lisbon Recognition Convention;
  • Offering funding support for refugee students and scholars and ensuring that additional means are made available for higher education institutions that engage in this process in the form of bursaries, grants and structural support measures, both from national funding sources and from Erasmus+, Horizon 2020 and the European Social Fund.

The press release is available at: