Advocating for Change


REIs advocates for change by fostering the access of students to higher education. This is done through

  • education programs to assist people of refugee backgrounds access universities in Europe

  • advocating for changes in how the learning of people of refugee backgrounds are assessed

  • advocating for more inclusive university administrative and pedagogic practices

  • advocating for more scholarships and targeted funding to assist people of refugee backgrounds enter higher education

The core principle underpinning our advocacy strategy is inclusivity. We strongly believe that European policy makers and universities should be pro-active in getting refugees to higher education. This means funding preparatory programs, academic-led assessment of previous learning, a willingness to re-think administrative and pedagogic practices that impede entry and success in higher education, and the provision of targeted funding.

All this means stepping away from the ‘integration’ framework that underpins many current approaches to the issue and which places a heavy and individualised onus on people of refugee backgrounds to ‘prove’ their value to European higher education systems (and beyond that, to society itself).

The changes REIs are advocating for may mean fundamental changes to how universities administer, how they teach and who they include. Such changes are not impossible, REIs partners have helped facilitate fundamental changes in their universities’ admissions and assessment policies and are working with other universities, education agencies and grassroots movements in Europe.


REIs Advocacy Handbook

Refugees and Higher Education in Austria

Refugees and Higher Education in Hungary

Opening Up the University - conference proceedings and book proposal

CEU Policy on Recognising the Learning of Refugees and Asylum Seekers - a policy that puts the assessment of past learning at the forefront of admissions policy for refugees & asylum seekers who do not have copies of their degrees or have completed most but not all of previous degrees.

Consortium conference in Budapest, March 2019. Image credit: CEU / Zoltan Adrian (Kepszerkesztoseg)

Consortium conference in Budapest, March 2019. Image credit: CEU / Zoltan Adrian (Kepszerkesztoseg)