Higher Education
supporting Refugees
in Europe

University Carlos III of Madrid (ES)

In 2015, a Working Group was set up including representatives of the Studies Department, Legal Office, Students Vice-Presidency, and International Relations Vice-Presidency. Since then the Working Group has gathered information, launched proposals for a plan of action, analysed other initiatives both at a national and international level (University of Bremen, Germany and RegugiUM at the Universidad de Murcia, Spain), and contacted organisations carrying out activities for refugees in the Madrid community (CEAR, ACCEM, Red Cross).

University Carlos III of Madrid Photo

Campus of University Carlos III of Madrid

Based on this the following specific actions have been developed:

  1. Facilitate access to refugee students studying at university in their home country;
  2. Promote collaboration among Spanish universities and refugees who are university professors in their home country;
  3. Promote voluntary activities and programmes among students and in cooperation with public administration and social agents;
  4. Host refugee students in student housing;
  5. Provide legal advice, health services, psychological assistance and support for the access to social services, among others;
  6. Offer Spanish language classes to enable social integration in the country;
  7. Provide scholarships to as large an extent as possible;
  8. Place countries in conflict as priority countries in the university cooperation programmes.
Duration: since 2015

The governing bodies of our university have approved for subsequent years three grants covering accommodation and living expenses in our dormitories and exemption of tuition fees.

An intensive and extensive awareness campaign has been developed and addressed to the whole university community in relation to refugees and international conflicts provoking the refugee crisis: Solidarity Week (Semana de la Solidaridad), Solidarity Passport (enabling students to attend and participate in a variety of activities), seminars and courses promoted by several departments.
Refugee-related programmes and activities are structured within our University Strategy for University Cooperation. Please feel free to access our Strategy, programmes, initiatives, and Code of Conduct here where all relevant documents are available in both Spanish and English.
Our activity comes under the framework in the plan of initiatives carried out by Spanish Universities promoted by CRUE and the Rectors Conference of Madrid Universities (CRUMA).
All Madrid universities are coordinated to deploy an integral plan of action addressed to refugees, both students and researchers, or people in the process of obtaining the status of refugee or asylum seeker. Within this broader common plan, each university can develop its own activities and initiatives.
At this stage, our initiatives have been designed and applied to provide an effective and fast solution to the situation of refugees. In this regard, current initiatives are long-term, yet problem-specific. Nonetheless, processes and solutions are likely to be adapted to other future situations and applicable to other disadvantaged learners accordingly.
Funding structure
All initiatives are funded by the university’s internal budget.