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ECPR Virtual General Conference 2020

Access to Higher Education for Refugees in France

Public Policy
Damien de Blic
Université Paris 8
Damien de Blic
Université Paris 8
Anne Marijnen
Université Paris 8

The large flow of refugees into France in 2015 has induced a limited response in welcoming of refugees onto campuses. So far few universities have developed initiatives : Ecole Normale Supérieure, Université of Paris 1-Sorbonne, University of Nanterre, Lyon… Being a refugee in France gives access to some social welfare benefits and to primary and secondary education (classe d’intégration). But so far there is no specific state initiative to facilitate access to higher education for refugees that have terminated their studies or already have higher education qualifications. Refugees are considered as ordinary international students. While there is a growing body of knowledge on post-secondary access for French and international students, little is known about refugees’ entry French higher education system. We intend to study the first initiatives led by university administrations, students and academics to welcome refugees (…) and then show how they shape the political agenda in the matter. We first plan to map the initiatives and the level of support mobilized to enable student refugees to resettle and complete their post-secondary studies (tuition, languages classes, allowances, diplomas recognition) Interviews are being conducted with faculty staff and students of the universities involved and the first outcomes are being gathered. We will then show that these initiatives pave the way for a more articulate public policy aiming
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