Less than 6 per cent of Syrian refugees of university age currently displaced across the Middle East are enrolled in higher education, an expert on the region has warned.
Salam Said, a lecturer on the Arab economy, told a conference that countries neighbouring Syria had fallen well short of targets for the enrolment of refugees on degree courses.
Universities around the world are being urged to offer more scholarships to refugees.
At the Australian International Higher Education Conference in Hobart, attendees from more than 30 countries heard only 1 per cent of the world's 65 million refugees had a university degree.
Portuguese diplomat Helena Barroco said there was an urgent need to provide more refugees with educational opportunities. Read more.
Last year six governments promised hundreds of millions of dollars to help educate Syrian refugee children. Human Rights Watch investigated the progress of those donors in fulfilling their pledges and says it found large-scale discrepancies between what was promised and what was delivered.
War brought an abrupt end to Qusai’s efforts to become a lawyer. He had been in the first year of a law degree course at university in Dara’a when violence broke out in the southern Syrian city at the start of the country’s civil conflict in 2011.
In 2013, he and his family fled to Jordan and ended up in the remote refugee camp of Azraq. There, Qusai’s hopes of continuing his education seemed to evaporate.
An Afghan refugee born in Iran, Mr. Sohrabi says it wasn’t easy for him to go to school. By age 10 or 11, he was working during the day and studying at night. Sohrabi was eventually able to study English translation at a university outside Tehran for four semesters, but as an Afghan in Iran, even that was difficult.
Adrian Melendez, a Mexican, first met Jackdar Mohammed, a Syrian, at a freshly constructed refugee camp in northern Iraq in March of 2013. Mohammed, both a refugee and a volunteer at the camp, jokingly offered the Mexican a spicy meal. A year later that encounter had changed both of their lives—and many others’ lives as well. Read more.
The Syrian Youth Empowerment initiative guides high-school students in Syria through the U.S. college application process. Its co-founder George Batah explains the importance of Syrians winning scholarships to study in the U.S. Read more.
The scale of the Syrian refugee crisis and the challenge of mitigating a “lost generation” of the education of Syrians is a critical one. As young Syrians struggle to enter higher education, they are navigating a range of complicated and often contradictory systems at local, national and international levels, between immigration and asylum policies on the one hand, and education policies on the other. Read more.
If the risk of a “lost generation” of Syrian students and academics is to be avoided, universities in the region must be part of the solution. Read more.
When Hadi Althib fled Syria to escape military service in 2016, his education was not the first thing on his mind. Althib, 23, was most concerned about settling into his new life in Turkey. Once he arrived in Gaziantep, a city not far from the Syrian border, he focused on finding a job and a place to live. But as he settled into his new role managing youth development programs remotely for refugee camps and shelters in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, he knew he wanted to go back to school. Read more.