March 17, 2019 The challenges Syrian refugees face in higher education systems in host countries and how to overcome them. Lessons Learned from Jordan Francesca Ruisi * The Syrian crisis has had a major impact on most countries hosting Syrian refugees. Given the lack of a political solution to the war, host countries began to develop new approaches and frameworks in response to deal with the consequences of the prolonged stay of refugees. In this context, and after the London Conference on Supporting Syria and the Region in February 2016, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan shifted its refugee policy approach from humanitarian assistance to one directed towards empowerment (Shteiwi, 2017a).
Against this background, this policy brief aims to analyze whether and to what extent Syrian refugee students have access to higher education in Jordan. The article discusses the main challenges Syrian refugees face in entering, pursuing, and completing higher education in Jordan. Finally, building on lessons learned from Jordan, it makes policy recommendations on how to promote more inclusive education policies for young Syrian refugees in host countries.
Due to the political stalemate regarding the Syrian conflict, there appears to be a need for a common framework in terms of normative laws, regulation and inclusive practices not only in the Hashemite Kingdom but also in European countries hosting and integrating young Syrian refugees into their social and inclusive societies. economic contexts. Jordan’s example can be seen as a base case from which lessons can be taken and put to use in other countries facing the new challenges of Syrian refugees entering, performing, and concluding higher education.
The challenges discussed in this article and related policy recommendations are based on research conducted by the Center for Strategic Studies (CSS) in 2018 in Jordan (Center for Strategic Studies [CSS] – University of Jordan, forthcoming). The research was based on a multi-method approach consisting of a survey conducted among Syrian refugee university students and a series of focus group discussions with key stakeholders (policy makers, practitioners, higher education providers, experts and NGOs involved in the response to the Syrian refugee crisis).
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Full-time researcher, Center for Strategic Studies, University of Jordan