“la Caixa” Banking Foundation and The Global Platform for Syrian Students

Providing scholarships to young Syrians to continue their higher education studies in Spain and Portugal

Location: Spain and Portugal

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  Education is most impactful when it is understood as a continuum and students are supported to progress through the system effectively - but     as refugee children age, the obstacles to education increase    © The Global Platform for Syrian Students

Education is most impactful when it is understood as a continuum and students are supported to progress through the system effectively - but as refugee children age, the obstacles to education increase

© The Global Platform for Syrian Students

Higher education for refugees is in a critical situation, with only 1% of refugees attending university, as compared to 37% of youth globally.  "la Caixa" Banking Foundation and the Global Platform for Syrian Students (GPSS) started a scholarship program in 2018 to grant 50 scholarships to young people who, due to the conflict in Syria, were forced to flee their country and, consequently, to leave university.

This new alliance aims to give access to higher education to Syrian students who are in a humanitarian emergency or refugees, welcomed in Portugal and Spain, as a crucial tool to achieve equal opportunities and social integration.

With a total contribution of 710.000 euros, "la Caixa" Banking Foundation will grant 50 two-year scholarships to young adult refugees so that they can access higher education in Portuguese and Spanish universities.

This alliance has a double approach. On the one hand, it is shaped by the strong conviction that education as a right offers protection and mitigates the psychosocial impact of conflict and disasters by providing a sense of normalcy, stability, structure and hope for the future. On the other hand, it recognizes that higher education plays a unique role in the context of emergencies as it prepares future leaders to build an inclusive society through a solid education on dialogue, tolerance, resilience and reconciliation.

Since the start-up of the Global Platform for Syrian Students (GPSS) in 2013 until today, 119 young people have received scholarships in nine different countries.

The GPSS is a non-profit multi-stakeholder organization, founded by Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal, with the support of a core group of institutional partners.

“la Caixa” Banking Foundation is one of the largest foundations in Europe which supports and carries out activities related to society, education, culture and science. In 2017 the foundation promoted almost 50,000 activities, benefitting more than 11 million people in Spain and around the world. For more than 15 years, this institution has been collaborating with the UNHCR in South Sudan, Chad, Syria and neighboring countries.

For more information please contact: Gloria Cid, Head Representative of “la Caixa” Banking Foundation in the United States. Email: gmcid@fundaciolacaixa.org