Mr. Norimasa Orii graduated from ICU in 1991, and ICU High School in 1987. He has played a crucial role in JICUF’s scholarship program for Syrian students, the Syrian Scholars Initiative. In 2017, as Program Manager at the Japan Association for Refugees, Mr. Orii helped JICUF establish the Initiative, and has since worked with us to reach out to Syrian students in Turkey, identify eligible students, facilitate their entry to Japan, and support them after arrival. We asked the current Representative Director of Pathways Japan to reflect on his time at ICU and his career.
In July, JICUF launched a series of online meetings with UNHCR to discuss higher education initiatives for refugees in Asia and the Pacific with institutions across the region. Two sessions have already been held, with about 80 participants representing close to 20 countries across the region. Two more sessions will be held in September.
JICUF Executive Director Paul Hastings Speaks at Institute of International Education Workshop in Vietnam
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Earlier this month, JICUF Executive Director Paul Hastings was invited by the Institute of International Education to speak at a workshop in Vietnam on the topic of refugee higher education. JICUF’s scholarship program for Syrian students, the Syrian Scholars Initiative, is the only private sponsorship program hosted by a university in Japan and has garnered much interest among the international community. ICU Professor Osamu Arakaki also participated in the workshop.
On June 18th and 19th, Aki Takada, Associate Director of JICUF, attended a conference titled “The Other 1%: Refugees at Institutions for Higher Education Worldwide” in Berlin, Germany. She introduced JICUF’s Syrian Scholars Initiative in a workshop on Financing Models and Strategic Partnerships.
On December 1st and 2nd, JICUF and UNHCR Japan co-hosted a symposium at the International House of Japan in Tokyo entitled “Supporting Refugees in Higher Education: Japanese Models and Next Steps.” Close to 80 participants including representatives of Japanese universities, NPOs and government agencies participated to discuss existing programs for supporting refugee students and to explore ways to strengthen collaboration among institutions.
On September 23rd, ICU’s Peace Research Institute and the Japan Federation of Bar Associations hosted an international symposium titled “War Refugees in International Law and the Role of Civil Society” at the Togasaki Kiyoshi Memorial Dialogue House. In June, ICU Professor Osamu Arakaki received a JICUF grant of ¥800,000 to organize the event.