The Australian National University (ANU) has announced the creation of a new university consortium to help build pathways to higher education for refugees from around the world.
The Australian Refugee Welcome University Sponsorship Consortium (ARWUSC) brings together, under the leadership of ANU, 12 universities each with strong commitments to social impact. This nationwide alliance will work to co-design a blueprint for a proposed new, ground-breaking, education-led pathway for refugee resettlement in Australia.
Professor Bronwyn Parry, from ANU and co-lead of ARWUSC, said the new consortium "marks an exciting new chapter in Australia's refugee resettlement story."
"Refugees have historically made a very important contribution to modern Australia, building the successful, harmonious multicultural society we have today. They have also made significant inputs to our economy and can play a key role in driving our future prosperity and social wellbeing," Professor Parry said.
"ARWUSC aims to create life-changing resettlement and educational opportunities for hundreds of students who have been displaced by conflict in recent times, offering them the chance to re-start their educational journeys and to bring their skill and expertise to Australia.
"The consortium will represent the higher education sector and intends to work closely with the Federal Government and other key organisations in the not-for-profit and business sectors, including the Refugee Council of Australia, to explore ways to introduce global best practice models of refugee education into Australia.
"No such coordinating body currently exists in Australian higher education, but is it essential - not only to secure the future of currently displaced students around the globe but also to help them to realise their full potential as future citizens of Australia.
"ANU and the 11 universities we are partnering with are excited to be playing a major role in this important endeavour."