Conference Programme

The Other 1 Percent - Refugee Students in Higher Education

International Conference on June 18 & 19 in the Weltsaal of the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin

On the occasion of World Refugee Day 2019, the German Federal Foreign Office (FFO), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) are organizing an international expert conference on refugee students in higher education.

The Global Compact on Refugees, adopted in December 2018, aims to improve international cooperation on refugee issues in order to improve the self-reliance and resilience of refugees. Higher education and access to the labor market play an important role in this. However, currently only about one per cent of refugees are studying worldwide. Therefore, the objective of the conference is to emphasize the importance of expanding access to higher education for refugees. The Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative (DAFI), UNHCR’s flagship scholarship programme, is an example of how this can be achieved.

The first day of the conference is characterized by high-level speeches and discussions and the opening of the photo exhibition, while the second day provides an opportunity for an intensive exchange among experts. The photo exhibition "The Other 1 Percent" presents students studying with a DAFI scholarship and in Connected Learning programmes in Lebanon, Senegal, Jordan, Kenya, Pakistan and Rwanda. The exhibition will be on display in the atrium of the Foreign Office until July 9, 2019.

NEW Conference Programme [PDF; 0.4 MB]

Speakers Booklet [PDF; 1.7 MB]

Concept Note [PDF; 0.3 MB]

June 18, 2019

11:00 AM Musical Prelude
Aeham Ahmad, Palestinian-Syrian pianist
11:15 AM Welcome Address
Heiko Maas, German Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs
11:25 AM Keynote Address
Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
11:45 AM Panel Discussion
Inclusion of refugees in higher education
Students and representatives of universities discuss the inclusion of refugees in higher education institutions worldwide
12:45 PM Musical Interlude
Aeham Ahmad, Palestinian-Syrian pianist
13:00 PM Students interview a high-level representative of the Foreign Office
Scholarship holders from different programmes interview Ms Heidrun Tempel, Commissioner for Foreign Science, Education and Research Policy, and Foreign Cultural Policy at the Federal Foreign Office
13:30 PM Lunch Buffet
14:30 PM

Panel Discussion
The Global Compact on Refugees and its implications for higher education and self-reliance for refugees
Representatives of governments, UNHCR and the private sector discuss the importance of the Global Compact
Further information (Guidance Note - Pledges and Contributions and Good Practices for the Global Refugee Forum)

15:30 PM                                             Opening of the Photo Exhibition - The Other 1 Percent
Photographs by Antoine Tardy tell the stories of refugees who are studying on a DAFI scholarship or in Connected Learning programmes in Kenya, Senegal, Lebanon, Rwanda, Pakistan and Jordan
DAFI scholarship holders attending the conference guide attendees through the exhibition
17:00 PM End of Conference Day 1

June 19, 2019

9:00 AM Welcome and Presentation of the Conference Programme
Moderation Team
9:10 AM Welcome Address
Prof. Dr. Margret Wintermantel, President of the DAAD
9:30 AM Keynote Address
The responsibility of higher education institutions regarding the inclusion of refugees
Prof. Dr. Julia von Blumenthal, President of the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder) and member of the Board of Trustees of the Berlin Institute for Empirical Integration and Migration Research (BIM)
10:15 AM Panel Discussion
Experiences of refugees at higher education institutions worldwide
Refugee students discuss their experiences of enrolling and studying at higher education institutions
11:15 AM Coffee Break
11:45 AM                                                                                            Input Presentations
Successfully including refugee students in higher education institutions and the need for recognizing qualifications across boarders
Two university representatives present approaches on including refugees on campus, highlighting opportunities and challenges; a representative from UNESCO speaks about the global initiative on the recognition of qualifications and on scaling up the Qualifications Passport project; a representative of the German parliament will offer commentary
12:45 PM

Opening of the Marketplace
Inclusion of qualified refugees in German universities
German Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Participating organisations present relevant projects

13:00 PM Lunch Break
14:00 PM                                                   Workshops
In four parallel workshops, panellists and participants discuss topics relevant to improving access and participation of refugees in higher education
1 | Financing models and strategic partnerships
2 | Internationalisation
3 | Research and data
4 | Higher education and transition to employment
15:15 PM Coffee Break
15:45 PM World-Cafés
In three parallel World-Cafés, participants will form small groups for a dynamic discussion of topics relevant to improving access and participation of refugees in higher education
1 | Student-led initiatives
2 | Connected learning
3 | Higher education projects for successful inclusion
17:00 PM Presentation of the Results
The rapporteurs of the workshops and World-Cafés present the results of the discussions
17:45 PM Closing Remarks
Moderation Team
18:00 PM End of the Conference
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