March 28, 2024

Enhancing Libyan academic studies on migration: the HGRA project


Among the many current activities in Libya, UNIMED coordinates since February 2023 the project HGRA – Enhancing management and studies on migration issues in Libya, a three-years capacity building project. The project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and is based on the awareness that migration is an international phenomenon that affects several sectors in both the country of destination and the country of origin. Given that the Central Mediterranean route via Libya is the most active and accounts for the largest number of people crossing to Europe by sea, the contribution of Libyan Universities is recognized as relevant and with a high potential of addressing this important issue, embracing the social role of Higher Education Institutions in the country. HGRA brings together six Libyan universities (University of Zawia, University of Sebha, University of Tobruk, Gulf of Sidra University, University of Tripoli, Sabratha Higher Institute for Science and Technology), the University of Barcelona, Sapienza University of Rome and UNIMED.

The overall objective of HGRA is to strengthen the Libyan Higher Education system and provide tools and knowledge to help mitigate the situation, for example through high-level, country-specific curricula on the subject. The project aims to produce scientific results and develop skills to reduce the negative and enhance the positive aspects of the phenomenon.

In-depth knowledge of a situation is the first step towards controlling and managing it. To this end, the project launched a survey to analyze the current state of the art in the Libyan academic world in order to explore the role of Libyan universities in addressing societal issues. The survey revealed that migration issues are rarely addressed by academia and that faculties offering courses, training or research on the subject are almost non-existent. Universities highlighted the importance of raising awareness among the academic community about the medium- and long-term effects of the crisis and of building the capacity of universities to structure an appropriate educational offer in this regard.

In addition, three workshops were organized to explore academic studies on migration issues on the one hand, and the needs of universities in dealing with migration on the other. The workshops highlighted the need for more regular meetings and knowledge sharing, new curricula and training, new networks and joint events.

The HGRA project demonstrates the necessity for Libyan universities to play a leading role in developing research and raising awareness among the younger generations. 

To know more about the project visit the project website