It was a great honor to be approached by the Swiss Students’ Union (VSS-UNES-USU) in 2019, regarding a possible collaboration for their “Perspectives-Studies” project which has now been in existence for 3 years and has already met with a considerable measure of success (see table below).
– the provision of an information hub for refugees about study options, scholarships and registration procedures through a dedicated website;
– local peer-to-peer mentoring programs in different higher education institutions where volunteer students serve as mentors to ensure students are integrated into the social life of the University they attend, that they gain a perspective on how to best navigate the local higher education and teaching environment, but also support with attending classes as auditors and assistance assessing their chances to gain access to higher education institutions and other professional paths;
– and last but not least a systematic sensibilisation program for key actors from the integration sectors and university educators, to the challenges faced by the refugees and the advantages of getting refugees integrated through higher studies.
Along with support in these 3 areas, “Perspectives-Studies” holds the belief that higher education should be available to all including refugees and has developped a lobbying approach both in government and educational spheres to support this belief.
If you are working for a University or Higher Education Institution and your organisation would like to learn about possible participation in the UNES project, please contact email@example.com
This report has been prepared jointly by Anne-Claude Lambelet, SIETAR Switzerland’s Project leader and Ruth Thommen, Co-Projektleitung «Perspektiven – Studium»