Alliance of Leading Universities on Migration (ALUM)

Universities for Evidence-Based Migration and Refugee Policies




ALUM is a unique collaboration among leading universities in Europe, USA and frontier refugee recipient countries in North Africa and the Middle East which aims to help bridge the gap between research and policy in the management of the ongoing migrant and refugee crisis.

ALUM’s network identifies the key units and researchers ready and willing to contribute their expertise to work across national and disciplinary boundaries towards evidence-based policy solutions. ALUM is willing to reason publicly, interact directly with private stakeholders and governmental institutions and, if necessary, engage in closed door negotiations for maximum impact. The alliance now comprises twenty one members.

Through executing targeted events, ALUM engages with policymakers from both frontier and destination countries, including Germany, Italy, Spain, Lebanon and Sweden, as well as UN agencies and European institutions.

ALUM has directly engaged with global policy makers in the context of the G7, G20 and the Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD).



ALUM came into existence from the realization that universities across Europe and beyond are uniquely positioned to credibly inform the public, raise awareness and influence policy makers with evidence-based policy advice. As the refugee crisis was deepening in Europe in the summer of 2015, universities were starting to step up their policy engagement; however, the sheer scale of necessary effort, in a rapidly changing political environment, was clearly beyond the capacity of any single institution. Thus, there was an urgent need for a coordinated, evidence-based and impactful response, leveraging universities’ independent research, public policy expertise and convening power.

ALUM was formally created in November 2015 with the participation of several major universities from the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Hungary. Since then, its network has expanded to include a number of European institutions as well as members from the Middle East and North of Africa region and the Americas. 



ALUM’s efforts are coordinated regionally by four universities:  Universität Mannheim (Continental Europe); the American University of Beirut (Middle East and North Africa), Yale University (USA) and the LSE Institute of Global Affairs (UK and rest of the regions), which has also taken up the responsibility to manage a small virtual “Secretariat” for ALUM.