Refugees who, highly qualified or attending university in their country of origin, seek admission to higher education institutions in Switzerland, face a number of obstacles that prove difficult for them to surmount on their own.

VSS-UNES-USU is advocating egalitarian access to higher education independent of gender, socioeconomic context and residency status. This access to education needs to be granted to refugees in the same way in order to allow them to educate themselves and develop according to their possibilities.

To offer support in surmounting these obstacles that refugee students face VSS-UNES-USU created the project “perspectives – studies” in december 2015. Through the project, the union takes action to raise the currently feeble number of refugees that make it into Swiss higher education institutions.
The project has already published a first analysis of refugee students’ situation accompanied by demands to key institutions for change.

The goals of the project are thus:

  • The improvement of information about demographics and needs of refugee students
  • Building a network of mentoring projects that offer personal assistance and accompaniment by local students
  • Goal oriented commitment of students that lead to sustainable refugee projects
  • Raising awareness within higher education institutions and the migration sector for the specific situation of refugee students
  • Centralising the information needed to seek access to higher education and making it available to both refugees and professionals

Services and offers of the project

  • Construction of an information website for refugees interested in studying (in construction)
  • Collection of data about the demographics and needs of refugee students from ongoing projects (ongoing)
  • Consulting and advising in the construction of student projects for refugees
  • An Exchange platform for student projects on the subject
  • Training workshops for mentors
  • Networking between student projects and professionals in the field

All of these services are offered for free to collaborating projects. We’re always open for exchange and questions.

The project is financially supported by VSS, Stiftung Mercator Schweiz (foundation), Arcas Foundation, Foundation Paul Schiller, Foundation Ernst Göhner, the European Students’ Union ESU as well as the student association of ZHAW, VSZHAW.