IIE Blog Opening Minds
IIE Blog Opening Minds

As the Refugee Population Grows

By: Dr. Allan E. Goodman on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Here in Germany it is clear that they cannot take all refugees traveling their direction, or even all that have already arrived. It is also clear that Angela Merkel is in real trouble for trying, and that the Germans in the higher education space want their country to lead the way in helping.

Courtyard entrance to Technical University of MunichUniversities are going to extraordinary lengths to house, cloth for winter, and feed newly arrived refugees. And they are not saying that this is caused by U.S. policies or anything other than a brutal civil war inside Syria and conditions in neighboring countries. The regional crisis is causing people to flee not only bombs but circumstances where their kids will have neither school nor work. Some think this may be the first mass migration refugee crisis caused as much by the desire for education as for safety.

What people here are not asking me is what Washington is going to do. They understand our reluctance to send troops back into the Middle East, and they understand the geography that makes this part of Europe a destination for so many. They also know the United States is contributing much-needed funds to help. Indeed, the expressions of gratitude to America for wanting to help are something I have not heard in this part of Europe for a very long time.

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For more than nine decades, the Institute of International Education has been at the forefront of international education. The Opening Minds blog is IIE’s take on how this field continues to change. Here the Institute’s leaders will explore international educational exchange, global student mobility, institutional partnerships, international development, and other topics and trends that are shaping higher education around the world.

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