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Education pathways

Complementary Education Pathways, also known as Third Country Education Pathways, are safe and regulated avenues for refugee students to enter a third country to enroll in tertiary education at a higher education institution.

These can provide refugees with either permanent or temporary stay, depending on the country’s model where they were accepted to access higher education. Models include:
  • adapting an existing student visa framework so refugees can access it
  • establishing a refugee-specific student visa, such as the university corridors
  • refugee sponsorship models implemented by universities, institutions, and communities that offer permanent residency upon arrival and access to higher education

The Global Task Force on Third Country Education Pathways

The Global Task Force on Third Country Education Pathways (Global Task Force) was launched in 2020 with the main objectives of promoting and supporting the expansion of tertiary education as a complementary pathway for refugee students.

The Global Task Force convenes members globally from all the relevant sectors; representatives of states, regional and international bodies, the private sector, NGOs, refugee representatives, UN agencies, and donors who are engaged in  or supporting complementary education pathways and are committed to
expanding tertiary education opportunities as a durable solution for
refugee students.

It achieves its goals by (1) conducting joint advocacy with relevant stakeholders and within the networks of its members, including the promotion of the Minimum Standards on Complementary Education Pathways, developed by the Global Task Force, (2) providing technical assistance to existing and emerging education pathways programs, (3) conducting research and analysis on education pathways and (4) serving as a central hub for convening relevant stakeholders on complementary education pathways.


Pledging Workshop on Complementary Education Pathways for Admission to Third Countries


Complementary Education Pathways represents a unique opportunity for refugees. Developing a holistic system for refugees to access education pathways that considers linkages with community sponsorship and the building of the necessary skills for the transition to the labor market is critical.

To ensure a comprehensive and linked approach to infrastructure building and commitments to the Skills-Based Complementary Pathways pledge and the 15by30 Global Pledge, The Global Task Force on Third Country Education Pathways (Global Task Force) and its partners convened a pledging workshop. The workshop invited organizations, states, and entities intending to pledge in the areas of Complementary Education Pathways to promote coordination and the development of Multi-Stakeholder:

Refugee Skills-Based Complementary Pathways 

15by30 Global Pledge on Refugee Higher Education

15by30 Roadmap: Expanding Higher Education, Skills and Self-Reliance for Refugees

Updates on education pathways

Asia-Pacific Complementary Pathways Community of Practice Meeting
12-13 February 2024, hybrid event, in person in Manila, Philippines; regional meeting hosted by De La...
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Summary of Financing Complementary Education Pathways for Refugees: Existing Approaches and Opportunities for Growth
Despite the emergence of complementary education pathways and their positive results, there are a number...
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Coordination Meeting on Complementary Education Pathways Pledges in the Asia/Pacific Region
Nov 21, 2023 10:00-11:30AMM JST / 1:13:30 ACT; virtual event hosted by the Global Task Force on Third...
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