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RESCUE aims to help the Partner Country Universities in Iraq (KRG), Lebanon, and Jordan in structuring an effective response to the refugee crisis, by creating ad hoc units (the Refugee Student Operational Support Unit – R-SOS). Specific services and ad-hoc solutions will support refugee students in resuming their academic training path.
Lead Authority or Organization: UNIMED, Mediterranean Universities Union
Area: Iraq (KRG), Lebanon, Jordan
Beneficiaries: Local Higher Education Institutions
Timeline: October 2016 – October 2019
Human Resources: 2 focal points per university for the project management, plus 4 staff from UNIMED fully involved in the process of quality of coordination
Funding Amount: €947,665
Sources of Funding: European Commission, Erasmus+, KA2 – Capacity-building in the Field of Higher Education
RESCUE aims to reinforce the capacity of higher education institutions in responding to the refugee crisis, thanks to the R-SOS activities. R-SOS activities are directed towards refugees, IDPs, and local communities in order to reduce social and local tensions, integrating students rather than dividing them.
R-SOS Units operate following both a horizontal and a vertical dimension. While the empowerment of services already available will build the horizontal dimension mainly through study orientation, the vertical dimension will work to further develop these services to fit the needs of universities and students.
The project went through the following steps:
Evidence and Beneficiary Feedback
This is a relatively new project. For the time being, refugees and IDPs in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq (KRG) are welcoming the R-SOS Unit creation, mainly acknowledging that R-SOS staff will guide them towards local university services and other international opportunities.
Challenges and Risks
Key Ingredients of Success
The project will create a new unit in order to implement new services for students and to enhance capacities of local staff. In this respect, the inclusion of NGOs and governmental organizations in the training process of university staff in targeted countries is innovative. A permanent observatory on refugees/IDPs crisis in relation to education/higher education can lead to a better understanding of education as a tool to mitigate the crisis and provide a useful instrument to avoid the risk of a “lost generation” while also preparing for a possible return to their home countries.
The following recommendations can be derived from the project for scaling up: