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This talk aims to bring together two partner universities, King's College London and the American University of Beirut, to discuss one of the most pressing societal issues we are facing today, education in emergencies and forced displacement with a focus on higher education. Today, only 7% of refugees worldwide have access to university compared to a global average of over 40% for non-refugee youth (UNHCR, 2023). This alarming statistic prompts a profound need for an inquiry into the role universities must play in addressing and confronting global issues such as forced displacement while ensuring and preserving education and higher education as fundamental rights for all individuals.

This talk addresses these issues by showcasing the work of the King's Sanctuary Program at King's College London and the Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service at the American University of Beirut. Both institutions have an extensive repertoire of research and practical interventions aimed at facilitating access to higher education for refugees, whether in the UK or the MENA region. As academics, researchers, and practitioners in higher education, we hope in this talk to engage in critical reflections and discussions regarding universities' pivotal role in forced displacement, conflict and emergency.


Dr Nicole Mennell, Sanctuary Programme Manager, King’s College London

Sarah Tierney, Sanctuary Operations Manager, King’s College London

Rabih Shibli, Director, Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service, The American University of Beirut


Melissa Matar, PhD candidate, School of Education, Communication & Society, King’s College London


To register for the event please email Melissa Matar who will send you the link to the online seminar.