Higher education in crisis settings matters – listening to Syrian voices and other testimonials


Since 2014 the Global Platform for Syrian Students, an initiative launched by Jorge Sampaio, former president of Portugal, with the full support of the Portuguese authorities, the academic community and some international partners, has been running an emergency scholarship programme for young people caught in the Syrian conflict.

More than 700 annual scholarships were awarded allowing young Syrians to finalise their studies and get Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD degrees.   Some of them are already fully integrated in the job market, many others are still waiting for an opportunity to resume their studies.  At the New  York Declaration, adopted in 2016 by the entire international community, including all EU members States, a clear and compelling vision for the future was spelled out, recognising  the power of higher education to build resilience in emergencies, foster recovery and rebuilding from disasters and conflict (para 82). Yet there is a long way to go in order to make this happen and leave no one behind as higher education in emergencies remains a largely neglected and underfunded sector.

This session will feature some high level speakers who are involved in different ways in this initiative as well as amazing testimonials from Syrian alumni and students. Together they will show how close collaboration among different actors explain the success of this programme and how much it contributes to unleash the transformative potential of higher education to protect in crisis situations in emergencies, enhance resilience and build hope for the future.

Organiser: Global Platform Syrian Students and Permanent Representation of Portugal to the European Union

Date: 25/03/2021  11:00-13:00

Webinar, Virtual