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Confronting the Higher Education Crisis for Syria’s Refugees

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

‘I Started at Zero’: How a Syrian Refugee Is Rebuilding His Life Through Education

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

Aiming Higher: Prioritizing Higher Education within the Global Movement for Refugee Education

The global movement for refugee education is gaining momentum. Spurred in part by the Syrian crisis, prominent actors from Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai to United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown are centering refugee education within the broader movements for universal primary and secondary education and comprehensive emergency response. Almost entirely missing from the conversation, however, is a call and associated actions to support higher education in crisis contexts.

Refugee students get a leg up at the University of Utah

The IIE estimates more than 200,000 university-aged students in Syria have had their higher education experiences disrupted by war. IIE President and CEO Allan Goodman calls the Syria conflict’s impact on these students unprecedented. And worldwide, the numbers are stark. According to Goodman, only 1% of the world’s 60 million refugees attend a university, compared to a global average enrollment in post-secondary education of 34%. Read more.

Knox Welcomes Students from Syria

Thousands of miles from their home country of Syria, Farid Freyha and Shahim Shaar are settling into their new lives as Knox College students. They are the first students admitted to Knox through an Institute of International Education (IIE) initiative—the Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis—designed to help Syrian students pursue higher education in the United States. Read more.