Hong Kong has a long history of hosting refugees, with over 200,000 Vietnamese coming to the territory in the 1970s and 1980s. Situated at a key international crossroads Hong Kong continues to be a regional travel hub and one in which many people every year make claims for protection to the Government led Unified Screening Mechanism (USM), which amongst other things examines their risk of persecution should they return to their country of origin. There are currently around 7000 individuals whose claims are pending at either first instance or appeal stage. People whose USM claims are substantiated are referred to the UN Refugee Agency for consideration of solutions, though these can take many years to implement due to lengthy procedures and limited opportunities for resettlement. As a result of this many organizations who support substantiated claimants in Hong Kong seek meaningful opportunities for them during their temporary stay in Hong Kong, helping them to develop themselves for their future, wherever that may be.
OUR -Opening Universities for Refugees - is an initiative which seeks to bring together students, universities, donors and non-governmental agencies to build consortia which, individually and collectively, will address these issues to enable more potential students to realise their goal of higher education studies. Over recent weeks, OUR have been working with UNHCR Hong Kong and Refugee Opportunity And Development (ROAD), Branches of Hope to meet current stakeholders and current and potential students to understand better: the nature of demand for higher education and the challenges faced by those wishing to access it; the current academic opportunities available, and potential options for the future; the nature of current infrastructure to support potential students, both within communities and amongst current higher and secondary education providers; and the views of other key stakeholders.
The 3C Forum itself will not only provide the opportunity to discuss these outcomes in more detail, but will seek to facilitate effective collaborations amongst participants leading to funded projects and initiatives to increase access to higher education opportunities in Hong Kong.
One of our goals is to involve as many interested parties and stakeholders as possible to ensure that everyone who has the potential to develop solutions to the challenges posed by the provision of higher education in Hong Kong, which is mainly financial is included. To that end, we would welcome your suggestions regarding potential invitees, and would be equally delighted if you could utilise your networks to spread the word.
If you would like to attend, please visit to https://initiativeour.org/3c-forum-project-bauhinia-hong-kong/ and complete the on-line registration form. Attendance is free. Program details of the 3C Forum will be announced on the OUR’s website. Please rsvp by 1st April. If you have any questions or enquires please do not hesitate to contact us via kh.gr1553278902o.epo1553278902hfose1553278902hcnar1553278902b@eba1553278902ujnr1553278902 or gro.r1553278902uoevi1553278902taiti1553278902ni@of1553278902ni1553278902
We very much look forward to your active participation during 3C Forum on 24 May 2019
Nazneen Farooqi, UNHCR Head of Office
Roy Njuabe, ROAD, Branches of Hope Head of Office
Gül İnanç, OUR, Head of Board