Over the last decade, Greece has been the dominant receiver of large waves of both migrants and refugees. Taking into consideration that (a) immigration (and the displacement of people from their homes in general) is a social phenomenon, (b) education has a significant influence on the development process and access to education is absolutely a fundamental human right, (c) real development calls for improved educational opportunities and access for all citizens without any discrimination, and (d) the lives of young refugees have been impacted by negative experiences, then the purpose of this paper is to investigate, through qualitative analysis, the access and the opportunities that the Greek higher education system offers to young refugees (if they wish to enter) and to identify possible barriers raised by existing educational policy. A qualitative survey was conducted by analysing the relevant Greek legislative framework and by using structured interviews with key personnel of refugee support organizations and higher education institutions (HEIs), both public and private. This study supports the view that higher education should aim to remove any barriers to accessibility, have a humanitarian orientation, ensure equality and constitute a key step in the whole process of socialization.

DOI: 10.1057/s41307-020-00180-3
ISSN: 0952-8733