The RRM project builds on the momentum generated by the World Humanitarian Forum, held in May 2016, in which governments and other international actors agreed to work together in order to achieve strategic transformations, as proposed in the Agenda for Humanity, aimed to “reduce the suffering of millions of people, and address and reduce humanitarian need, risk and vulnerability”. Moreover, the RRM also takes into consideration further commitments made at the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants (September 2016) expressed in the New York Declaration, in particular in its paragraph 82 in which all member States recognized for the very first time the power of higher education to build resilience in emergencies and foster recovery and rebuilding from disasters and conflict. Last but not least, the RRM project also builds on the commitments made in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular SDG 4, 5 and 16.
The RRM is designed upon the experience gained from an emergency scholarship program for Syrian students launched in 2013 under the leadership of Mr. Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal, in the framework of the Global Platform for Syrian Students. Although operating on a small scale with 150 students in 9 countries, this program has been very successful. A major scale up might take place soon thanks to new upcoming partnerships.
Furthermore, the RRM is also based on exchanges held with international partners since 2014 and on lessons learned and best practices available.
The RRM is underpinned by the principle that universities know what to do to integrate students and scholars from crisis settings, playing a crucial role in empowering individuals and communities provided they are properly backed. To enable universities to achieve their mission, it is necessary to close existing gaps in capacity, cooperation and financing.
One way of doing this is to set up a coordination mechanism to ensure that universities reach outto refugees and students on forced displacement and that admission procedures (both from an academic point of view but also from a national, legal and administrative perspective) are run smoothly and provide the appropriate protection which these students need and are entitled to.
On the other hand, a financing facility should ensure that funds are available to cover the costs since day one of a humanitarian crisis and that funding is sustainable. For a graphic, quick overview of this project, please watch the following video.