Higher Education
supporting Refugees
in Europe

Ghent University (BE)

Researchers are most welcome at Ghent University. At the level of central administration, a group of experts working on different aspects that are also applicable to refugees has been set up. They are working towards establishing a system of a single point of contact in order to enhance cooperation with the city of Ghent.

The Research Coordination Office (in close cooperation with the Diversity and Gender Policy Unit) focuses on three future-oriented actions:

(1) Refugee-researchers without a (legalised) diploma can have access to doctoral training and can have a placement in a research group. Refugee-researchers (PhD candidates) that have been accepted by a promotor willing to guide the researcher through the PhD journey can enrol at the Ghent University as a PhD student without the necessary legalised diplomas and transcript of records. Not only is the doctoral schools training programme accessible to them, they can also apply for competitive PhD funding (Euraxess and others), with academic support available in the research group in writing their applications for funding. In this way researchers can work on the (academic) CV, while being in a research-enabling environment, giving them all the support they need in starting/pursuing an academic career.

(2) Recognised refugees/subsidiary protected researchers can work at Ghent University in secondment (being paid by the general centre for social welfare), both working on the academic CV, as well as building on their social rights in Belgium.

(3) Scholars at Risk: at Ghent University we welcome scholars at risk, giving them state to the art support.

Duration: As from 2016
Refugee students: approximately 30
Refugee researchers: unknown
Other comments: We organised a Refugee Welcome Day in June 2016 and March 2017. During both the events, about 100 refugees with an interest in studying at Ghent University were present.
In the academic year 2016-17, 22 refugees participated in the preparatory higher education programme.
Strategy & Mission
Initiatives for refugees are mostly linked to the policy unit for diversity management.
A steering committee with members of different departments (internationalisation, education, research) was established to coordinate different initiatives and to establish cooperation between different departments and units.
The preparatory higher education programme is run in close cooperation with the integration service of the city of Ghent. This cooperation has existed since the launch of the programme.
The preparatory higher education programme is funded both by Ghent University and the city of Ghent.