Online guest lecture

Representatives of UNHCR and civil society organizations introduced our students to the project Building a Welcoming Society

What is migrant social entrepreneurship? What social innovations offer solutions to migrant crises and how can they help asylum seekers?

As part of the Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation course, representatives of international institutions and civil society organizations recently made a virtual guest appearance holding a presentation of the project Building a Welcome Society for undergraduate students of Economics and Entrepreneurship.

These are projects and programs for the inclusion of refugees in available formal and informal support programs. It was presented to the students by Jan Kapić, spokesperson for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR for Refugees), Mirjana Vergaš, protection associate at UNHCR and Tijana Tešija, program manager at the association MI Split.

The guests pointed out that there are currently 500 refugees and 500 asylum seekers in Croatia, including children. They explained that asylum seekers can learn the Croatian language for free, which is a basic pre-condition for finding a job. In addition, there are many examples of people who have been granted asylum after refugee status and are now opening their own businesses and employing asylum seekers to facilitate their integration and help solve their problems.

Spokesman Jan Kapić presented to the students the role of UNHCR in the refugee aid and care, and the history of the development of the refugee assistance program, which has three goals: saving lives, protecting rights, and building a better life for refugees. He also presented them with numerous statistical data, so that students could get a deeper insight into the issue - the duration of refugee crises, the uncertainty that refugees face, emitting and receptive countries, etc.

Mirjana Vergaš from UNHCR talked to the students about the programs and activities for the integration of refugees into Croatian society. She pointed out the terminological vagueness and differences between migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers .

Through a lot of useful tips and new knowledge acquired by students also through this lecture, students gathered information and got a deeper insight into the topic they were dealing with in one part of their project assignment within the course.

Communication Department


Date of publication: June 18, 2021