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Education - the key to a secure and sustainable future for refugees and their communities

"In the devastating context of global conflict and displacement, education gives hope to refugee children and youth to envision and build a secure future." -António Guterres, former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Education for refugee children and young people is a critical aspect of UNHCR's international protection mandate. Education also contributes to long-term solutions for refugees, ensuring that displaced generations are equipped to rebuild their lives and communities - either in the country of asylum, upon their return home or on resettlement to another country.

The UN refugee agency is currently responding to the largest numbers of refugees since World War II. Half of all refugees are children under the age of 18 and the need for education for these young people, as well as well as stateless children and young people has never been more urgent. Only half of all refugee children are enrolled in primary school, and one in four are estimated to be in secondary school. Just one percent of young refugees are enrolled in tertiary education.

UNHCR's Education Strategy (2012-2016) aims to increase access to a range of safe, quality education opportunities for refugee children and young people, from early childhood education to university. The UN refugee agency is working closely with national authorities to promote the inclusion of refugee and stateless children into national education systems and to develop responsive, quality education opportunities where this is not possible. UNHCR also works with a range of global partners to realize the right to quality education for all displaced children and youth in line with Sustainable Development Goal 4.

UNHCR Education Briefs Rss FeedUNHCR Education Briefs

Our new Education Briefs provide information and operational guidance on a range of topics.

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DAFI Scholarships

The German-funded Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative provides scholarships for refugees to study in higher education institutes in many countries.




An Education, Multiplied

The 2015 Nansen Refugee Award goes to an Afghan schoolteacher, who has transformed the lives of a thousand refugee girls in Pakistan.

UNHCR supports Sustainable Development Goal 4

The launch of SDG 4 is a window of opportunity to advocate for education for refugees.

UNHCR Education Strategy 2012-2016

UNHCR's Education Strategy aims to increase access to a range of safe, quality education opportunities for refugees.

Educate a child

Educate a Child (EAC), a programme in partnership with the Education Above All Foundation (EAA), has enabled over 400,000 out-of-school refugee children to access primary school in 12 countries since 2012.

Innovating in Education

UNHCR's Education and Innovation Units work together through the Learn Lab to expand education opportunities for refugees and the forcibly displaced through new approaches to learning.

Refugee Education: A Global Review

Published in November 2011, this report investigates the worldwide state of refugee education.

Ensuring Access to Education: Operational Guidance on Refugee Protection and Solutions in Urban Areas

UNHCR's aim in urban settings is for refugees to access quality education services at a level similar to that of nationals.

Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies

UNHCR is a member of the INEE Steering Group and promotes use of the INEE Minimum Standards for Education in refugee settings.