Uni4Refugees: Broadening Diversity in Higher Education Institutions is a cooperation project of several Swiss higher education institutions under the joint lead of the University of Zurich (UZH) and the University of Geneva (UNIGE). The overall aim of the project is to foster the integration of refugees interested in studying into higher education, thus contributing to a sustainable integration that is in line with individual potential. For this purpose, Uni4Refugees invests into the capacity building of refugee students and researchers, staff of higher education institutions and regular students. Moreover, it fosters the transfer of kowledge on integration into higher education among all relevant regional and national stakeholders in higher education as well as in the field of asylum and integration.

With this, Uni4Refugees also contributes to more diverse higher education institutions in Switzerland.

Uni4Refugees is supported within the framework of the national P7 program «Equal Opportunities and University Development» (2021-2024), which is coordinated by swissuniversities. The program is also promoted by all partner universities and especially the University of Zurich (UZH) and the University of Geneva (UNIGE), the Fondation Philantropique Famille Sandoz and the Stiftung Mercator Schweiz

In parallel with the UNHCR High-Level Officials Meeting held in Geneva in December, the program Uni4Refugees is organizing a the 2nd University Refugee Forum on Lifelong Learning, Integration and Higher education.

The event will take place on:

Friday 10th December 2021
From 1.00 to 5.00 p.m.
In Maison de la Paix, Auditorium A1 A
Graduate Institute, Geneva




  • Mathieu Crettenand, Integration Delegate and Head of the program Horizon académique, University of Geneva
  • Sara Elmer, Head of Start! Study - University Integration Program, University of Zürich
  • Andrea Bianchi, Director of studies and International Law Professor, The Graduate Institute Geneva


Introduction: Building solidarity around the world's refugees with the Global Compact on Refugees

  • Anja Klug, Director of UNHCR Swiss Office

Keynote: The Perils of Intercepting Education in Afghanistan

  • Heela Najibullah, Author, Humanitarian Worker & PhD Candidate at the Religious Studies Department of University of Zurich

Lifelong Learning and Innovation in Higher education

  • Oula Abu Amsha, scholar in exile and former SAR
  • Ben Webster, Director of Mosaik
  • Thierry Agagliate, Executive Direct of InZone-UNIGE

Moderated by Karl Blanchet, Director of the Geneva Center for Humanitarian studies




Lifelong Learning, career transition and refugee exil

  • Flavia Cangià, Senior Researcher at the University of Fribourg
  • Adiba Qasim, Student at the University of Geneva
  • Serkan Seker, Researcher at the University of Geneva

Moderated by Horizon Académique, University of Geneva


Short Break


Round-table on: Innovative Perspectives on Higher Education & Integration of Refugees

  • Yves Flückiger, President of swissuniversities and Rector of UNIGE
  • Nina Gilgen,Integration Delegate and Head of the Integration Office of the Canton of Zurich
  • Emirhan Darcan, SAR-Scholar University of Bern and former participant of the UZH University Integration Program
  • Sabine Zurschmitten, representative of VSS-UNES "Perspective - Studies" and committee member of the campaign "Education for All - Now"

Moderated by START! Study, University of Zurich


Conclusion in plenary


End of meeting


Simultaneous interpretation in English / French / German, provided by the Faculty of translation and interpretation (UNIGE).

The event will also be held online. The link will be available on this page.

Registration form

Registration deadline: December 6, 2021