This study aims at to address the problem of understanding how the University of Oslo (UiO) and the Kings College of London (KCL) support refugees through their respective programs: the Academic Dugnad and Sanctuary. To do so, the first step was to structure a conceptual framework based on the idea that university civic engagement (UCE) can be conceptualized as a network. By using value network theory, UCE was described as a network of value exchanges that was characterized by the actors involved, engagement activities, and the different forms of value that were exchanged. That way, the involvement of universities in societal problems can be related to not only the mechanisms, through which they contribute, but also to the political economic context and the idea of refugee integration. Qualitative research was the research method used in this study. The data was collected through document analysis and two interviews with the leaders of the programs that each university carried out. The sampling was purposive, as this study was limited to a scope focused on the decisions taken at the strategic level rather than in describing the cases from all the possible angles. The findings of this study revealed a complex set of institutional interactions that characterized the relationship between universities and their external environment, for the case of refugee support programs. In both cases, the process of relating with society implied first and foremost the administrative and strategic efforts to link the traditional activities of the university in a useful way to the solving of the social problematic of the refugee crisis. Nevertheless, that process was always limited to certain internal values and norms, as academic research and admission to university were processes that were not used in an instrumental way. On the other hand, although both programs presented similar forms of UCE, the interactions that characterize them were conditioned by the political economic context. While in the Academic Dugnad several actors from government agencies cooperated with UiO, in the Sanctuary program the university acted rather alone, although cooperating civic organizations and other universities outside the country. The study also argues for an important role of higher education in the integration of refugees, especially in their acculturation, economic success and access to different forms of social capital.