Italian universities will welcome refugees living in Ethiopia

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ROME, MARCH 3 – Italian universities will give forty-three refugees living in Ethiopia the opportunity to continue their academic career in Italy. The students will be selected on the basis of merit and motivation, through a public call for applications launched today.

The project, called ‘University Corridors for Refugees (UNI-CO-RE)’, was born in 2019 from an initiative of UNHCR Italy and the University of Bologna. Its third edition will involve 24 Italian universities. The students will be offered the opportunity to arrive to Italy in a regular and safe way in order to pursue their studies, in line with UNHCR’s goals of strengthening entry channels for refugees, and achieving education enrollment rates above 15% in first asylum and third world countries.

The project also meets and supports the indications given by the European Commission in the new Pact on Migration and Asylum, and its recommendation of September 23rd, 2020, which calls on member states to create new entry and protection pathways for refugees, such as study and work programs.

Collaborating in this project are: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, UNHCR, Caritas Italiana, Diaconia Valdese, Centro Astalli and the Gandhi Charity.

“These are determined young people who legitimately aspire to build a future in dignity and want to contribute to society, and thanks to projects like UNICORE, the commitment of Italian universities and partners, these aspirations can now become a reality,” said Chiara Cardoletti, UNHCR Representative for Italy, the Holy See and San Marino. “Enabling refugees to arrive safely and express their talents is even more important today in light of the troubling situation in Ethiopia, where the safety and well-being of refugees and thousands of civilians is now at risk.”

The UNICORE project began in 2019 with an initial pilot phase which saw the acceptance of six students in two universities, and has then expanded in 2020. This expansion was possible thanks to the participation of twenty refugee students from Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Eritrea, who are currently taking graduate courses at eleven different universities.

To ensure that these students receive the necessary support during the two-year master’s degree program, and to facilitate their integration into the university life, the universities will rely on the critical support of an extensive network of local partners.

The call for applications will close on April 1st, 2021, and can be accessed at universitycorridors.unhcr.com

Participating in 2021 are the Universities of: Bari, Bergamo, Brescia, Cagliari, Florence, Messina, Palermo, Padua, Verona, Sassari, Milano-Bicocca, Universita’ Statale di Milan, the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, the “G. Dannunzio” Chieti – Pescara, the European University Institute, the University of Salento in Lecce, the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, the Luiss Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli, Sapienza in Rome, the University for Foreigners of Siena, the Iuav University of Venice, the University of Eastern Piedmont Amedeo Avogadro and the University of Tuscia in Viterbo (@OnuItalia)