UniR - Universités & Réfugié.e.s, formerly named Kiron France, is an association that supports refugees and asylum seekers in their academic integration.
The association promotes education as a path toward integration and as a first step for professional success. Refugees and asylum-seekers often find it difficult to have their skills and qualifications recognized and valued. In addition, complex administrative formalities and a lack of information are difficult obstacles to overcome without the proper guidance.
UniR has identified these problems and is therefore addressing them through its 3 pillars of action: personalized support for beneficiaries in their personal projects, their French language skills, and their administrative procedures for registering to university; advising and orientation individuals in their resumption of studies; produce and disseminate knowledge through conducting research and participating in advocacy for the integration of refugees and asylum seekers.
Education is an important factor in obtaining proficient employment. The integration of refugees into the labor market and the validation of their career helps create economic wealth. Economic participation promotes social recognition; a lasting and positive impact that will make society more tolerant and multicultural. Therefore, education is a winning bet for the future.
1. Personalized support :
Given the complexity of the French education system, the range of training programs available and the specificity of the migrant public, personalized support is a decisive factor in the realization of academic and professional projects. UniR mediates for its beneficiaries with academic institutions throughout the application and registration process. UniR has designed a support methodology to meet the needs and expectations of its beneficiaries. This methodology consists of 4 steps :
a. Diagnosis of needs : during a first appointment, we learn about the path of the beneficiary and their level of French language to set together their academic goals, expectations, and needs.
b. Exploration and candidacy : selection and proposal of suitable programs for the beneficiary, including language courses if necessary. Subsequently, we provide support during the completion of the application(s) (CV preparation, motivation letter, ENIC-NARIC equivalence and other prerequisites established by the academic institution or language).
c. Registration support : If the beneficiary’s application is accepted, UniR assists in their university registration process.
d. Post enrollment follow-up : UniR stays in contact with the beneficiary and works to help them achieve their goals. The student will be introduced to UniR's Alumni community.
2. Advising and academic orientation :
UniR offers various activities and workshops to guide its beneficiaries, and other audiences, to build their professional and academic projects. These activities also become meeting spaces between our beneficiaries and the host community. We have consolidated academic, institutional, associative and private partnerships that facilitate orientation and act as advisers on the various professional sectors. Some of our activities are as follows:
Permanence: A permanence is organized regularly to offer advice and individualized guidance regarding the resumption of studies, training or even professional integration. Depending on the different cases and needs, an appointment is set to benefit from personalized support.
- Journées découverte compétences-métiers
- Club Se Lancer!:
- Meet-up 3E:
3. Produce and disseminate knowledge :
UniR participates in advocacy and research in the field of access to language training and resumption of higher education studies for migrants and refugees. An action-research project, commissioned by the region Île-de-France, concerning the obstacles of migrant women in accessing higher education is currently in progress. Similarly, at UniR we defend access to information. That's why we have developed a collaborative platform (Wiki) to share information collected at our activities and workshops with our beneficiaries. Finally, our monthly newsletter and Facebook group brings together a very active community of mutual aid and sharing of opportunities and cultural activities