The Federation of the French-speaking students in Belgium (FEF), together with different local students’ unions, is taking part in a campaign to make universities and higher education institutions more friendly for immigrants, promoting open spaces and community building between locals and newcomers.
Being an immigrant-friendly higher education institution requires the adoption of motions in favour of inclusion e.g. cooperation programmes with/for refugees, access for asylum-seekers.
The campaign started with flash mobs carried to raise awareness on the topic (shaping a big “W” which stands for ‘Refugees Welcome)’. Following this action, different motions were adopted at the board of directors of several higher education institutions so that concrete measures could be taken to help in a financial and administrative way refugees wanting to have access to higher education in Wallonia and Brussels. Finally, a communication campaign took place at the Universities to inform students on the humanitarian crisis.
In total, more than 25 local students’ councils and hundreds of students in French-speaking Belgium joined the movement and showed the importance of pleading the refugees’ case among the students, countering the elitism and individualism that tend to become more and more the norm in Universities.