Supporting Displaced and Refugee Students in Higher Education: Principles and Best Practices

Conflict, war and the effects of climate change have and will continue to displace millions of people around the globe, including university and college students. In times of peace, these students become their societies’ future leaders, but in times of war, they may become a lost generation. Higher education in the United States has a long tradition of providing support to and sanctuary for the world’s students. However, the nature and enormity of human displacement in our era is such that America’s universities and colleges are facing a new and unique challenge.

We know that displaced and refugee students bring with them a host of experiences that demonstrate human resilience, while adding to campus diversity in substantial and meaningful ways. This briefing paper explores the ways in which American colleges and universities have embraced these principles, and have committed to making displaced and refugee students part of their campus communities.