The Migration Summit 2022 convenes global community to address refugee and migrant education | MIT J-WEL

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The Migration Summit 2022 convenes global community to address refugee and migrant education

Month-long series of events aims to build bridges, clarify challenges, and spark solutions

In just two weeks, more than 2 million people have fled Ukraine. These numbers add to the 84 million people globally who are forcibly displaced, the 48 million people who are internally displaced and the 26.6 million who are refugees worldwide (UNHCR — UN Refugee Agency). Efforts to address the educational needs of displaced populations could not be more urgent. Continuity of education, as well as ongoing vocational and professional learning, are vital to the ability of these communities to adapt to disruption and prosper in the long term.

Migration Summit banner
Starting April 1, 2022, MIT Refugee Action Hub (ReACT), Na’amal, Paper Airplanes, and J-WEL are organizing the Migration Summit 2022, a month-long global convening designed to build bridges between diverse communities of displaced learners, universities, companies, nonprofits and NGOs, social enterprises, foundations, philanthropists, researchers, policymakers, employers and governments around the key challenges and opportunities for refugee and migrant communities.  The Migration Summit will explore this year’s theme “Education and Workforce Development in Displacement” through virtual and in-person events hosted by participating partners around the world. Involvement in Migration Summit activities is free and open to the public.

Only 5% of refugees have access to higher education, far below the global average of 39% higher education enrollment among non-refugees (UNHCR 2020). Around 258 million children and youth are out of school globally (UNESCO 2018). 85% of refugees are hosted in developing countries, with scarce resources and economic opportunity ( For displaced communities across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, North and South America, access to education and workforce development can be a life-changer.

The goal of the Summit is to create new spaces of collaboration and risk-taking, share best practices and deepen cross-institutional connections in order to address these critical gaps and challenges in education and livelihood for displaced communities.  We seek to build community and capacity among conveners to establish new ways of working collaboratively together to yield new practice and research spaces in the area of refugee education and livelihoods. We aim to bridge the gaps that perpetuate across ordinarily siloed sectors of public and private, research and practice, individual and institutional. Meaningful solutions to the systemic challenges in migrant education and livelihoods can only be achieved through real collaboration and systemic response. To do so, we need to show up to the work differently — as individuals and as a collective system.

The summit will be organized around themes in education and workforce development, with sessions that are part storytelling, part design workshop. In these interactive sessions, participants will work together to question, challenge, and improve upon existing work, generate new collaborative projects, and identify key unanswerable areas to inform further research and investigation. Participants will be guided through a learning journey of exploration of each others’ work, inquiry into the systemic challenges in the field, and discovery of new insights, processes, and paths forward together.

Leveraging the convening power of MIT and the contributions of global partners, this event, hosted in locations around the world, seeks to center refugee, displaced, and migrant learners' and educators’ voices in solution making. We invite participants from diverse contexts and backgrounds, as individuals and organizations, to work with us in designing new education systems and solutions that promote education and workforce development for displaced and migrant communities.