Media release

UK for UNHCR and 4C Group announce new partnership to empower refugee tertiary education 

4C Group funds the creation of 70 DAFI scholarships to support refugee students around the world 


London, June 2024-  Al-karim Nathoo, CEO of 4C Group and a founding member of UK for UNHCR’s Advisory Board, has generously committed to fund 70 new DAFI university scholarships for talented refugee students worldwide over the next two years.

This intervention on behalf of 4C Group will expand access to higher education for refugee students and support UNHCR’s 15by30 strategy, which aims to raise refugee enrolment in tertiary education to 15 per cent by 2030. Presently, just seven per cent of refugee students are enrolled in higher education. 

Al-karim Nathoo said: “I had not realised how under-represented refugees were at the tertiary level, and how perennially inadequate the funding is, until I began working with UNHCR In the last five years, refugee enrolment in tertiary education has gone up from 1 per cent to 7 per cent, thanks to the incredible efforts of UNHCR. If you want to transform the futures of people impacted by conflict and disaster, this is it.”   

UNHCR’s global DAFI scholarship programme offers qualified refugee and returnee students the chance to earn an undergraduate degree in their country of asylum or home country.    

The programme covers registration and tuition fees, housing, travel, study materials and food, as well as language courses and psychosocial support. It also offers skills training, internships, mentoring, volunteering activities and networking opportunities for post-graduation transition and community integration. Since launching in 1992, the programme has reached over 24,000 students in 56 countries. 

DAFI scholarships have enabled students like Monicah to pursue their dreams of higher education. Having fled her home country of South Sudan, Monicah had to overcome immense challenges in her education journey, including the loss of her father during exams, pressure to marry and COVID-19. Today, Monicah is a law student and the first refugee to be elected President of the University of Nairobi Students Association. 

Monicah (middle) talks to other students at a youth forum on sustainable development at the University of Nairobi. © UNHCR/Charity Nzomo

Emma Cherniavsky, CEO of UK for UNHCR, said: “We are immensely proud to collaborate with the 4C Group and Al-karim Nathoo. The DAFI scholarship programme has been transformative for over three decades, providing opportunity and hope to tens of thousands of refugee students, enabling them to reach their full potential and transform their lives for the better.” 

 – Ends – 

Notes to Editors  

For additional information, please contact Mona Abdalhafiz, [email protected]  

Photos of Monicah are available to download via this link. 

About UK for UNHCR   

UK for UNHCR is the UN Refugee Agency’s national charity partner for the UK. We build solidarity, create partnerships and raise funds across the UK to help deliver global humanitarian relief for refugees through UNHCR’s work.     

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, leads international action to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. It delivers life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water, helps safeguard fundamental human rights, and develops solutions that ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future. UNHCR also works to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality.    

UK for UNHCR is a registered charity in England and Wales (registered charity number 1183415).    

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