Aiming Higher

Funding refugees through higher education

Photo: © UNHCR/Antoine Tardy

Currently there is a huge education gap for those who have been forcibly displaced, with only 5% of refugees enrolled in higher education. Access to higher education is a vital resource, leading to employment and self-reliance. Higher Education not only helps scholars thrive but also their whole community. 

UNHCR has launched Aiming Higher, a campaign to bridge the education gap and change futures by funding scholarships for refugee students. You can help fund future students by making a donation to Aiming Higher today.

Aiming Higher builds on UNHCR’s Refugee Scholarship Program (DAFI), the longest-running and largest standalone higher education scholarship program for refugees. Right now, there are refugee scholarship recipients studying in 53 countries. Over its 28-year history, more than 18,500 young refugee women and men have been supported to pursue their undergraduate degrees.

Are you a refugee or asylum-seeker looking for a way to study at a university or pursue other forms of higher education? 

Meet the Scholars

Bahati Ernestine Hategekimana, 25 year old woman from Rwanda

Bahati Hategekimana from Rwanda recently completed a Nursing degree on a UNHCR refugee scholarship.

“Thank you for being there for me and for supporting me when the doors of opportunity would open. Passing this exam means that I am finally a registered nurse!” 

Monther Alhoshan, 27 year old man from Syria

Monther Alhoshan from Syria, studying law on a UNHCR scholarship 

“I was accepted in the programme in 2014. I cannot even describe how I felt that day. I was getting my hopes and my dreams back. Education is everything in my life. Eventually, I want to go back to Syria and serve our people there, by using my skills and my knowledge.”

Esther is a third-year student in commerce at Makerere University in Kampala

Esther, South Sudanese scholar studying Commerce in Uganda 

“UNHCR’s Refugee Scholarship (DAFI) has turned my life around, socially and academically. My family has hope that things will change for them. They are waiting for me to graduate, then they will send my younger siblings to university. They will walk in my footsteps.” 

The UNHCR Refugee Scholarship Program (DAFI) is: 

  • Cost-effective: on average a scholarship costs just $3,200 per year. This includes tuition and fees but also housing, transport and food. 
  • Fair and inclusive: the program actively ensures there is equal and inclusive access.
  • Focused on career readiness: through improving the preparedness and employability of students. This includes career readiness training, skills training, internships and mentoring as well as volunteering and networking opportunities. 

Meet the Class of 2025 

Learn more about the scholars currently on UNHCR Refugee Scholarship (DAFI), a group of talented young people embarking on higher education around the world. Follow their journey and see how a scholarship makes a difference to the lives of young people who have been forced to leave their homes.

Donate Today

And fund a future scholar

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