This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Refugees Initiative

Convivial meal, an initiative for the inclusion of refugee students in the university

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INSTITUTION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INITIATIVE

UMONS – Université de Mons

COUNTRY

Belgium

CITY

Mons

Address

Place du Parc , 20, 7000, Mons, Belgium
[email protected]

TYPOLOGY

- Help desk and supporting services for refugee students
- Intercultural competences activities for staff
- Language and other introductory courses for refugee students
- Recognition of studies and prior learning for refugee students
- Social Events
- Tutoring and peer support for refugee students
- University policies on access to higher education

TARGET GROUPS

- Newly arrived refugees
- Students
- University staff (academic and administrative)

DESCRIPTION AND METHODOLOGIES

Almost 70 people were present on Thursday 5 October during the UMONS Refugee Initiative Coordination Team evening. The team invited all the managers and actors of the project to share together a convivial meal with sweet oriental flavors at the university restaurant of the Houzeau city of Mons.

On the menu: Lebanese mezze and shich taouck and demonstration of Dabkeh (Syrian dance).

The primary objective of this initiative is to give refugee university students the opportunity to continue or start studies within the Belgian academic system.

To date, the UMONS Asylum Seeker Training Program has supported a number of asylum seekers from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Armenia, etc. Nearly 50 refugees have been hosted by the University of Mons. In this way, UMONS also intends to sensitize the university community to the issue of forced migration.

The process of integrating asylum seekers revolves around two axes:

1.The language barrier is in fact the first obstacle to academic and social reintegration. They are then registered first as free listeners.

2. Secondly, they have the possibility to register as regular students in the different faculties of UMONS.

The close collaboration between internal and external partners at UMONS allowed daily support for candidates.

Have thus actively collaborated in the success of this initiative:

• Deans, and professors of the different faculties with whom the program managers coordinate action to allow asylum seekers to enter as regular students;

• The reception centers for asylum seekers of the Red Cross (in Tournai) and of the Federal Agency for the reception of asylum seekers - Fedasil (Morlanwelz) with which the program collaborates daily for everything related to the organization and university life of the candidates;

• The Social Promotion of Mons, of which we welcome the presence of those responsible among us;

• The Social Promotion of Jemappes, who jointly provide FLE courses with the CLV for the candidates whose officials we welcome;

• The CPAS of Mons and the members of the CPAS-UMONS unit;

• The intercultural interpreter and the volunteers;

• Professors who have welcomed the candidates as a free listener in their lessons;

• The various administrative services of UMONS (academic affairs, registrations, student affairs, social service, international relations);

• The UMONS Modern Language Center (CLV);

• The Student Representative Organization.

RESULTS AND IMPACT

To date, the Umons Asylum Seeker Training Program has supported a number of asylum seekers from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Armenia, etc. Nearly 50 refugees have been hosted by the University of Mons. In this way, Umons also intends to sensitize the university community to the issue of forced migration.

Thanks to all these partners, the refugee candidates were able to find a positive state of mind, a motivation to work for get by, an active social life, but above all ambition. All of these factors have made it possible to realize the importance of this program in the lives of asylum seekers.

Refugee students testimonials available in: https://web.umons.ac.be/fr/les-etudiants-refugies-fetes-a-lumons/