20 refugees arrive in Italy with university scholarships
Twenty refugees from Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo arrived in Italy on September 11 thanks to the project University Corridors for Refugees. They will be able to continue their studies at 10 Italian universities through a scholarship.
Twenty refugees who arrived at Rome’s Fiumicino airport on September 11 will soon be able to continue their studies. They will attend one of 10 Italian universities that have joined the project #University_Corridors_for_Refugees (#UNICORE).
According to a statement released by the UN refugee agency UNHCR, the students, including a woman, come from Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They were selected according to their academic accomplishments and motivation by a commission appointed by all the universities participating in the project through a public competition.
Once they have completed a mandatory quarantine period due to the COVID-19 emergency, the students will start attending courses at the universities of Cagliari, Florence, L’Aquila, Milan (Statale), Padua, Perugia, Pisa, Rome (Luiss), Sassari and Venice (Iuav).
’Extraordinary result’, UNHCR
The project University Corridors for Refugees is promoted with the cooperation of the Italian foreign ministry, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Italian charity Caritas, the Diaconia Valdese. It was also organized thanks to the support of the University of Bologna (promoter of the first edition in 2019) and a wide network of partners in Ethiopia (Gandhi Charity) and in Italy, which will provide the necessary support to students for the entire duration of the specialization course.
“We are extremely happy for this extraordinary result,” said Chiara Cardoletti, UNHCR representative for Italy, the Holy See and San Marino.
“With this initiative Italy proves it is ahead in finding innovative solutions for the protection of refugees.”
UN goals for the education of refugees
According to the UNHCR report ’Coming Together for Refugee Education’ published two weeks ago, only 3% of refugees at a global level have access to higher education.
By 2030, the UN agency has the goal of reaching a 15% enrolment rate in higher education programs for refugees in host countries and third countries also by increasing safe pathways that take into account specific needs and the legitimate aspirations of refugees.