Hundreds of refugees in Ethiopia admitted to universities

Photo credit: Ethiopian News Agency. Eritrean refugees students.

TMP – 18/01/2018

About 450 refugees in Ethiopia were given permission to study at Ethiopian universities at the end of 2017.
According to Ethiopia’s Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), the students have already been assigned to 23 government-run universities in various cities in Ethiopia.

The students include refugees from Eritrea, South Sudan, Yemen and Somalia.
The decision to allow refugees to join Ethiopian universities was taken in 2010 when more than 200 Eritrean students were enrolled at the Mekelle, Axum and Addis Ababa universities.

The higher learning provision is part of a scheme called the ‘out-of-camp’ policy, which came into force in August 2010 following talks between the Ethiopian government and UNHCR. The policy allows refugees residing in camps to independently live anywhere they choose across the country, provided that they can sustain themselves financially.

The out-of-camp programme also allows refugees to enroll in any of the state or private institutions of higher learning.
Some of the refugees who completed their studies through previous scholarship schemes have been unable to find jobs in the country once they graduated. However, a recently announced integration framework will now assist refugees to find regular employment in Ethiopia.

In November, the Ethiopian government launched the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), which will facilitate local integration of refugees, expand and enhance basic and essential social services for refugees and ensure that refugees are provided with work permits.

As the Ethiopian government intends to close all refugee camps in the country in the next 10 years, the CRRF is expected to provide sustainable responses for refugees in the country.