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Access to higher education

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IOM is committed to ensuring equal chances for third country nationals (TCNs) and people with migratory background in accessing quality learning opportunities at all levels of education, particularly higher education, in a lifelong perspective. With a specific focus on engaging youth as drivers of social inclusion, the Organization aims at promoting inclusive education to target and overcome social, economic and political barriers to integration and civil involvement, and at enhancing communication to counter various forms of discrimination and stereotyping.

Such a process is key to encourage both local and migrant youth to actively contributing in shaping more cohesive plural societies as political actors, innovators, entrepreneurs and peace builders.

To this end, IOM is committed to:

  • Encouraging institutional efforts to prevent or reverse the marginalisation and/or exclusion of individuals in academic communities;  
  • Supporting HE institutions in elaborating measures to improve access to HE for refugees, TCNs and students with migratory background to enable them to become full members of the academic communities, and the cities where they belong; 
  • Building inclusive and connected higher education networks, in a framework of mutual exchange of knowledge, experience and best practices;
  • Fostering the exchange of good practices, also promoting the identification of sustainable links and synergies among initiatives promoted by institutions and associations active in education, training, youth and sport at local and regional level;
  • Raising awareness on social pluralism and diversity as values, promoting multicultural understanding and interfaith dialogue;
  • Challenging misleading perceptions on migration and diversity, empowering youth as catalyst of social change and inclusion, as well as encouraging youth-led responses to discriminatory and toxic narratives on migration;
  • Building a bridge between migrant and local youth to boost communication, foster social cohesion, and encouraging HE institutions and social actors to most effectively apply peer-to-peer support in the academic environment and shared social spaces. 

Within the framework of the regional initiative TandEM – Towards Empowered Youth in Southern Europe, IOM fostered the active engagement of young third country nationals (TCNs) and their local peers in 6 EU Countries (Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain), and created a network of 12 inclusive universities committed to: enhancing inclusive education; promoting dialogue and understanding; supporting integration; and encouraging communication.