The Other 1 Percent - Refugees at Institutions for Higher Education Worldwide

In celebration of World Refugee Day on 20th June 2019, the German Federal Foreign Office (FFO), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will jointly organise an international conference from 18th-19th June 2019 in Berlin on the topic "The Other 1 Percent - Refugees at Institutions for Higher Education Worldwide". The conference will draw attention to the "Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative (DAFI)" and it will emphasize the importance of higher education for refugees.

Currently only about 1% of the refugees worldwide are studying. The legally non-binding "Global Compact on Refugees", which was adopted in December 2018, is intended to improve international cooperation on refugee matters. The Compact also strives to improve the chances and opportunities of refugees on the labour market and in the field of learning and access to higher education.

The conference is accompanied by the photography exhibit entitled by the same name "The Other 1 Percent" on DAFI students worldwide, which is on display in the Lichthof of the German Federal Foreign Office until 9 July 2019.

At the end of the conference a call for action will be issued aiming at an increase in the number of refugees with access to tertiary education to 15%. The call for action will further inform the discussion and pledges on higher education that will take place during the upcoming Global Refugee Forum. This forum will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 17th-18th December 2019 and it is going to initiate the first stock taking of the achievements of the Global Compact on Refugees.

Conference Outcomes

UNHCR/Antoine Tardy

All documents of the conference are made available here. These include the conference report (forthcoming in August), the posters presented at the Marketplace, key notes and speeches, conference photos, and the list of participants.


Photography Exhibit

UNHCR/Antoine Tardy

This exhibition tells the stories of refugee students in Kenya, Senegal, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan and Rwanda who overcome the bleak figures, obstacles and labels, and were able to achieve success on their own terms.

Refugee Student Delegation


A principle feature of the conference ‘The Other 1 Percent’ will be the attendance of a delegation of 22 students and alumni from around the world. The students will provide commentary at the photo exhibition and interact with academic, government, public and donor attendees. Their diverse backgrounds, experiences and inspiring initiatives will increase the richness and context of the conference.


The Global Compact on Refugees

© UNHCR/Santiago Arcos

The Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) aims for a better protection and care for refugees as well as to provide benefits for the involved hosting communities. The compact was affirmed on 17th December 2018 by a large majority of UN Member States in order to formulate a combined approach to the international migration which comprises millions of refugees worldwide.


Global Refugee Forum

© UNHCR/Georgina Goodwin

The first Global Refugee Forum will take place on 17th and 18th December 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. It will shed light on the situation of refugees worldwide and it will explore ways to implement the objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees.


Refugees at Higher Education Institutions

The DAAD wishes to strengthen the potential of academically qualified refugees and provide them access to higher education in Germany. In collaboration with universities and partner organisations, the DAAD is developing various programmes to promote integration of refugees at German universities.