In September 2021, ten refugee students from Cameroon, Niger and Chad arrived in France to pursue a Master’s programme at the University of Clermont Auvergne (UCA). This is the result of a collaboration between the University of Clermont Auvergne (UCA), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Forum Réfugiés and the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) underpinned by the AMIF-funded COMET project.

COMET is a network of legal pathways leading out of Africa to five EU member states. The diverse experience of its fourteen project partners is enabling COMET to embed best practice across the network with the aim of improving outcomes for those who use the pathways and those advocating for their expansion.

These students were welcomed according to the university corridor model, which is a legal and secure admission route that allows refugees residing in a first country of asylum to pursue higher education in a third country. This opportunity offers access to the university system, including administrative, social and financial support. The development of a university corridor requires a broad collaboration between refugees, students, civil society organizations, the private sector and other institutional and academic players.

Habib and Aymard are two of these students and here they share their experience with us.