The first UARRM (University Alliance for Refugee and at Risk Migrants) convening was held February 2, 2018, at Rutgers University. UARRM is a group of researchers, practitioners and policymakers seeking to harness the potential of university communities for the empowerment and protection of refugees and at-risk migrants in the United States.
The UARRM mandate centers on higher education and vocational training for refugee and at-risk migrant students, threatened scholars (i.e., scholars fleeing conflict and/or repression), and, when relevant, members of their families.
Members include vested parties across relevant sectors including migrants, refugees, higher education institutions and association, student associations, education think tanks, legislators, local government, ecumenical education institutions (e.g., Jesuit services), and the international community (e.g., UN agencies, including UNITAR and UNESCO).
UARRM has articulated these three primary goals:
To scope (map) existing efforts underway in the United States by Action Area (below).
To share this information with interested partners inside and outside the Academy, helping to bring additional visibility to existing efforts.
To take actions in these different areas, when possible, spring-boarding promising initiatives.
Action areas include the following: offering more legal pathways to study, overcoming barrier to entry to higher education institutions, providing on-campus support, raising awareness, research, and media and communications.
“AACRAO is very interested in assisting these vulnerable populations in overcoming barriers to entry to higher ed institutions,” said Annetta Stroud, Associate Director for Training and Program Development for AACRAO International. Stroud served as a session moderator at the first convening. “AACRAO has been actively engaged in supporting institutions in this work, starting with our work with Syrian refugees in 2015. We are also interested in helping with research initiatives and outreach through media and communications.”
There will be an open session about UARRM on Feb. 21 from 2-4 p.m. at the 2018 AIEA Conference of the University of International Education Administrators (AIEA), and Stroud will be part of a Feb. 19 (5 p.m.) panel discussion regarding refugees and at-risk migrants.
Learn more about important AACRAO initiatives at the 2018 AACRAO Annual Meeting, March 25-28 in Orlando.