When the refugee crisis in Europe began in 2015, UCJC decided to be part of the solution, and thanks to its experience with victims of terrorism, UCJC was able to help young refugee university students who arrived in Spain. And the Integra Project was born.
The Integra Project offered the opportunity for young refugees to re-enrol or begin undergraduate studies at Camilo José Cela University. The first ten refugees selected to study at UCJC were received on 4 October of the same year. The students were aged between 19 and 28 and came from areas in conflict of Syria (Damascus, Aleppo and Homs), Iraq, Ukraine (Xercoh) and Afghanistan. Some of them had started their university studies (Civil Engineering, Renewable Energy Engineering, Hispanic Studies, Law, Business). However, the urgency with which they had to leave their countries made it impossible for them to apply for certification approval. The condition to be able to access the Integra Project was to complete secondary school studies. All had excellent academic grades (a 7.9 average) and a high level of Spanish. Most had an excellent command of English and often spoke a fourth language.
After four years, UCJC has decided to launch a new edition of the Integra Project to promote Refugee Education 2030. In line with the 2018 Global Compact for Refugees and the 2030 Agenda, this strategy aims to promote the conditions that will allow access to an inclusive and equitable quality education that allows them to learn, prosper and develop their potential, build individual and collective resilience and contribute to peaceful coexistence and civil society. To this end, Camilo José Cela University will receive ten new refugee students in its classrooms in the 2020-2021 academic year. The educational offering will be expanded, offering new vocational training courses that will allow students to enter the job market more quickly. In turn, the support provided to the families of these students will be expanded, offering psychological and legal assistance. Integra students will also join SFERA, the online social entrepreneurship platform of the UCJC Foundation, for solving real-world challenges aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.
Foundation UCJC and Fundación Mujeres por África (Women for Africa Foundation) have signed a collaboration agreement, united in their common objective to promote education and achieve the maximum possible development in the African continent. In 2016, the first framework agreement was signed, with which UCJC committed to providing two African female students with a full scholarship annually to pursue their Master’s studies at Camilo José Cela University (UCJC).
Since then, six young people have been able to complete their studies at our university.
The scholarship granted by the UCJC foundation includes flights, accomodation, living expenses, administrative expenses, as well as a monthly stipend for the student’s discretionary use. Nato Jammeh, studied the master’s in
Protocol in the 2018-2019 school year, he successfully finished his subjects, and carried out his internship at the Confederation of Autism Spain, supporting the comprehensive organisation of World Autism Day. His professionalism and commitment were praised on social media by the same organisation. For Nato, it was a unique experience to be able to put into practice all the knowledge acquired, supporting a cause as noble as this.
Seeking to facilitate the integration of the students on the Learn Africa programme throughout their training process, from when they are selected (April / May) until they started the academic year (September), the UCJC Foundation from July 2018, made available a networked platform supported by students, teachers and former students of the Master’s in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language (ELE) in order to facilitate language learning.
This course allows students to take level A1 to B1 Spanish language learning certificate, using a methodology that enables them to access content in their own time. All its content has been created by the trainees of the Master’s in ELE Teaching and is supervised by their teachers. The results will be presented in the following year’s annual report.
The course in turn allows students on the Master’s in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language (ELE) to carry out their professional work experience, thus increasing the visibility and reputation of said master’s degree. Participating students from over 20 countries will carry out their studies in different universities throughout Spain, through the MxA Learn Africa programme.