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The Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD) offers a new service: “oead4refugees” is a platform for refugees who are looking for access to higher education or wish to validate a foreign academic degree for work purposes. The initiative enables them to assess available opportunities and create strategies – even if still in the early stages of the asylum procedure.
Studies show that recognized refugees usually head directly towards the labour market with little regard for higher education opportunities, and voluntarily accept long-term wage cutbacks because they strive for immediate financial self-support. This can bring a significant loss of potential not only for the individual person, but also for Austria and, in the case of a possible return, for the country of origin. And not just young people are threatened by the impending lasting restrictions in career planning – even those who already earned an academic degree can feel deterred from validation by long procedures, limited financial support and language barriers.
“oead4refugees” supports the development of long-term perspectives through specific information about study programmes, language courses and funding opportunities. The platform is designed to encourage and guide people who currently undergo the asylum procedure as well as those who already completed the process.
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