Student Refugees

Fyrirtækja logo Landssamtök íslenskra stúdenta
National Association of Icelandic Students

Student Refugees Iceland is a project that aims to provide refugees and asylum seekers in Iceland with assistance in applying for higher education in Iceland.

SDGs related to the project

Project description

The project is based on the idea that access to education is a human right in itself and therefore everyone has the right to the same access to education. Student Refugees therefore tries to provide interested persons with all the information they need if they intend to study at Icelandic universities. Student Refugees also wishes to help refugees to overcome the obstacles that may stand in the way when applying to study. The assistance currently offered is information sharing through the website, Along with the website, Student Refugees Iceland maintains a Facebook page, where followers can learn of the events we hold or participate in. We also offer an application coffee meeting every month, where people with the status of refugees and asylum seekers can come and get coffee and cake and personal assistance from us in preparing an application or support in the application process. Equal access to education for all is one of the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals aimed at by 2030. At Student Refugees, the focus is goal number 4, Quality education for all, to ensure everyone has equal access to good education and to promote lifelong learning for everyone.

Objectives of the project

We are aware of the obstacles that refugees face when it comes to access to higher education in this country, and that these obstacles are increasing. Laws on asylum seekers and refugees are constantly changing, which can make it difficult for people to meet the requirements for study applications. Student Refugees aims to inform asylum seekers and refugees about their right to education and the possibilities currently available, with the overall goal of making higher education more accessible to all.

When is the target expected to be achieved?

The project's website is already live, as it was opened to the public in September 2019. Since the COVID epidemic began shortly after that, SRI's activities were limited during the following period. Now an application coffee is held along with numerous other actions to increase access to education for refugees and asylum seekers. The organisers are optimistic about the future and positive about their activities.

Measurement of performance

There will be a survey on the Student Refugees website that users can answer. The survey will be used to improve the project.

Project progress

19 January 2023 

 In September 2019, the project's homepage went live and it is in continuous development. Among the actions currently underway is work to provide more translations on the website, as the basis of the project is to reach a wide group of refugees. At this point the content of the site is in five languages: Icelandic, English, Spanish, French and Arabic. In the fall of 2019, the project managers advertised for a group of volunteers. Their response far exceeded expectations and the volunteers have proven to be an invaluable part of the work of Student Refugees. While the role of project management has been to maintain an overview of the work, make sure that projects are carried out and work on promotion issues, the tasks of volunteers have included attending and sharing work at application coffees, registering, guiding and following up on cases, answering inquiries and keeping in contact with asylum seekers and refugees by e-mail, working on translations and other updates on the project's website and collecting information about the progress of the project.

The first application coffee was held in November 2019 in the Nordic House, and thereafter they have been scheduled on a monthly basis. The COVID epidemic put an end to this, however, and the applicant coffees were cancelled from March to May 2020, then one summer coffee was held in July 2020. A total of six application coffees were held between 2019 and 2020. Student Refugees Iceland held a training camp in September 2022 for the new volunteers and started again with monthly application coffees that have been hosted at the downtown Reykjavík City Library. Among other things, the project managers have met with various other projects with common goals to improve the activities of all the projects and to increase people's access to education in Iceland. In addition, project managers have worked on a formal protection policy. The project managers have also been active in spreading the message of Student Refugees, including to the Welfare Department and the Human Rights Office of the City of Reykjavík and to the Red Cross. 

Project status


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