A group of 51 refugees from Africa have arrived in Italy to enroll in various universities in the country, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said in a statement.
They will participate in a larger project that offers young talents from developing countries support and opportunities to continue their education abroad, Xinhua news agency quoted the UNHCR as saying.
Called “University Corridors for Refugees” (UNICORE 4.0), the project’s fourth edition is supported by the UNHCR, Italy’s Foreign Ministry and several of the country’s non-profit organisations.
In 2022, the project will involve 69 students from Cameroon, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The 51 students who landed at Fiumicino Airport in Rome on Wednesday were the first to arrive.
They will soon begin their studies at 33 Italian universities that take part in the program.
All the refugees will be exempt from tuition fees and will receive financial support for plane tickets and visa-related expenses, as well as a study grant to help them during their stay in Italy.
At global level, only some 5 per cent of refugees have access to higher education compared to 38 per cent among non-refugee populations, according to the UNHCR.