UNHCR and USM Join Forces to Educate Students on Forced Displacement and Refugee Protection

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the State University of Moldova (USM) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, strengthening their commitment to educating students on the challenges related to forced displacement and the international refugee protection regime. UNHCR will support the development and delivery of an optional course, which will provide students with the opportunity to learn more about UNHCR’s mandate. Additionally, the agency will offer students opportunities to expand their skills and knowledge about refugees and humanitarian action through on-the-job training and fieldwork, provided they meet UNHCR’s eligibility criteria.

Founded in 1946, the State University of Moldova has built an impeccable reputation nationally and internationally. Its creation has been a cornerstone for the development and consolidation of higher education in the country. The State University of Moldova represents a space where academic freedom is promoted. The university encourages pluralism of opinions, as well as creativity while ensuring quality higher education and research.


“We aim to prepare future Moldovan professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the pressing needs of refugees and to promote a more inclusive society. By working together, we can ensure that the rights and dignity of refugees are respected, and their contributions to society are recognized and appreciated,” said Igor Șarov, Rector of the State University of Moldova. “With UNHCR’s support, students studying law, journalism, and social sciences can access over 75 years of knowledge and experience accumulated in working with refugees and displaced persons.”

Offering Training Opportunities and Internships

By providing training opportunities and internships, UNHCR seeks to increase students’ commitment to the needs of refugees and host communities, while providing them with a perspective on careers in the humanitarian field. This initiative is vital to raising awareness and promoting advocacy actions on issues related to forced displacement.

“Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the people and government of the Republic of Moldova have been an example of humanitarianism and solidarity with refugees and the most vulnerable,” said Francesca Bonelli, UNHCR Representative in Moldova.

“Such noble feelings, combined with skills and knowledge, are what the world and the humanitarian sector need. This cooperation is in line with the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and our commitment to contribute resources and expertise to improve the quality and inclusiveness of the national education system and to facilitate access for refugee students and those in the host community. I look forward to seeing more Moldovans working in international organizations, within the UN, or becoming future ambassadors of the Republic of Moldova in the field of human rights and development.”

This activity is part of UNHCR’s commitment to supporting the Government of the Republic of Moldova in strengthening its capacity to prepare for emergency situations and to enhance the protection and assistance of refugees, asylum-seekers, and stateless persons.

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