What We Do

Our students are among the most highly educated in the region. Since the 1960s, girls have made up around half of UNRWA students.

University Scholarships

The UNRWA scholarship programme provides access to university education for young Palestine refugees who excel academically but would otherwise be unable to afford tertiary education.

Access to higher education is limited for many Palestine refugees because of their difficult socioeconomic situation. This limits their employment opportunities and their chance to improve their living conditions.

The Agency’s university scholarships contribute towards the development of a highly skilled workforce. Past university scholarship holders have gone on to hold key positions in UNRWA, host countries and other Gulf States, contributing to the social and economic development of the region.

Academic merit

Scholarships are awarded for study in a wide range of fields across the sciences, social sciences and liberal arts. Courses lasting four to five years, such as engineering, are supported.

Awards are given according to academic merit. They are renewed upon completion of each year, until students obtain their first university degree.

The scholarship usually covers part of the cost of education, as university tuition fees are relatively high. Students’ families usually cover the remainder.

UN resolution

The programme is directly recommended by UN General Assembly resolution No. 51/127 of 13 December 1996 entitled: “Offers by Member States of grants and scholarships for higher education, including vocational training for Palestine refugees”.

The resolution invites donors to extend assistance for higher education to Palestine refugee students. It calls on UNRWA to act as a recipient and trustee for scholarship funds and to award them to qualified Palestine refugee candidates.

The Agency has provided university scholarships since 1955 and has the expertise to manage scholarship funds.

Two UNRWA students from Gaza enjoy recess in their first day of school. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al-Saraj
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