Largest global mapping of higher education opportunities for refugees to be launched

Times Higher Education and UNHCR form partnership to undertake largest mapping of higher education opportunities for refugees
June 21, 2024
THE and UNHCR partnership

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and Times Higher Education (THE) have joined forces to undertake the largest global mapping of higher education opportunities for refugees to date, aiming to significantly increase refugee enrolment in colleges and universities. 

This ambitious project will gather data on enrolments and scholarship opportunities for refugees as well as how higher education providers support refugee students. This initiative marks a key step in pursuit of the 15by30 target, set by UNHCR and partners, which seeks to increase the percentage of refugees entering higher education from the current seven to 15 per cent by 2030. 

Through this collaboration, THE will map global higher education opportunities for refugees and provide the data to UNHCR. This data will help UNHCR to work with governments, universities, colleges and training providers around the world to improve higher education access for refugees and support them on their academic and post-academic journeys. 

The exercise will also expand awareness of the opportunities that exist for refugees in higher education, enabling refugee students to better explore and access higher education. This initiative also serves as a vital advocacy tool for raising awareness and fostering solidarity for refugee inclusion in higher education. 

THE and UNHCR are currently developing a global survey to collect data and gain insights from higher education providers, which is due to be launched this summer. Other key organisations strongly supporting the initiative include the USAID Higher Education Learning Network, the Open Society University Network and Bard College. 

Dr Ishan Cader, THE’s director of consultancy, said: “I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about this ground-breaking partnership with UNHCR. The mapping exercise is a real game changer in knowing which universities and countries need to support refugees to realise UNHCR’s ambition of 15% of refugees in higher or further education by 2030.” 

“We’re working hard to do what we can to increase visibility of the survey as the results of this will be critical in ensuring we have the best possible picture of refugee access to higher education." 

THE and UNHCR encourage higher education institutions and providers to register their interest in the initiative here:, and when the survey is ready, it will be sent to registrants. 

The partnership announcement follows World Refugee Day on 20 June and is part of World Refugee Week, celebrated from 17 – 24 June.