Education Pathways allow refugees to travel from their country of asylum to a third country to pursue education and receive protection.
At the end of 2020, there were 82.4 million forcibly displaced people worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations and events seriously disturbing public order.
Number of forcibly displaced people worldwide.
86% of these people are hosted in developing countries, usually neighboring their countries of origin. Turkey was by far the top host country of refugees (4 million), followed by Colombia (1.7 million), Germany, Pakistan, and Uganda (all about 1.4 million respectively). To share the responsibility of protecting refugees, other countries have worked to resettle some of the refugees taken in by these countries, but efforts by governments are not enough. This is why private institutions and civil society, in close collaboration with governments, have been encouraged to create complementary avenues for third countries through education, labor, and family reunification.
Education pathways are scholarship programs that support refugee students and sometimes their families to move to a third country, continue their education, and rebuild their lives. In 2019, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched the Three-Year Strategy on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways envisaged in the Global Compact on Refugees that set a 10-year goal to admit two million refugees through complementary pathways.
As of March 2020, only 5% of refugees were enrolled in tertiary education around the world, compared to 39% of the general population. In 2019, UNHCR and its partners set the goal of increasing the enrollment of refugees in higher education to 15% by 2030 (“15 by 30”). Higher education is critical to the transition from "learning" to "earning," and for refugees to thrive as members of the community and pursue sustainable futures. Japan is home to over 800 universities and 2,700 vocational schools. If each institution admitted even one refugee student, thousands of lives would be changed.
In addition to the impact that institutions can have on extraordinary students, the benefits to each campus are immense. These students have endured challenges and persevered, and bring with them life experiences beyond their years. They diversify and enrich campus communities, and help foster global citizenship.