WUSC elected Co-Chair of newly established Global Task Force on Education Pathways for Refugee Protection
In 2019, there were 26 million refugees around the world, 65% of whom are under the age of 25. Education pathways, such as our Student Refugee Program, offer a unique avenue for displaced youth to build a brighter future for themselves and their families.
Today, only a tiny fraction of the world’s post-secondary education institutions are engaged in refugee protection. Leaders in their communities, these institutions could be doing much more to respond to the global refugee crisis. But they cannot do it alone.
That’s why the UNHCR recently launched a global, multi-stakeholder Task Force on Education Pathways for Refugee Protection, as part of their three year strategy on resettlement and complementary pathways. This task force follows an initial high-level convening hosted by WUSC, UNHCR, and UNESCO in Paris in 2019 where key stakeholders engaged in discussions about the barriers and solutions to the expansion or establishment of new pathways to protection through education.
WUSC is pleased to have been elected co-chair, alongside the Open Society University Network, of the newly formed task force. WUSC will contribute to this important work in collaboration with other members, which is composed of governments (including Canada), network associations, members of the higher education community, donors, and experts.
The mandate of the task force is to identify high-potential countries, regions, partnerships and initiatives that can sustainably expand opportunities for refugees to pursue their academic aspirations in a third country and find a durable solution through the granting of alternative legal statuses. Together, members will promote the expansion or development of new education pathways, mobilize political support from key stakeholders across the globe, and provide technical assistance to emerging initiatives. Activities will include the development of global minimum standards, capacity building, and the establishment of a community of practice where committed stakeholders can share best practices and lessons learned.
This new task force is in line with the global community’s commitment through the global compact on refugees to responsibility sharing, and recognizing the need and benefit of engaging new and non-traditional actors to respond to the ever growing forced displacement context. It builds on WUSC’s pledge at the Global Refugee Forum to champion education pathways and help improve global practices through solutions-focused technical expertise and capacity-building.