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Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development

Access to Higher Education for Refugees in Jordan: Protection and Sustainable Development

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Education opens minds; it opens doors to new opportunities, and offers a sense of normalcy where it may no longer exist. In contexts of mass displacement education also forms one mechanism for protection. This is as much the case for basic education as it is for higher education. The benefits of higher education are manifold and have profound effects on individuals, communities, and stability. This report serves to provide insight on the response to the provision of higher education for refugees, particularly Syrians, in Jordan as well as documentation of the ongoing challenges in this process. Reflection on access to higher education for refugees should be welcome to not only understand the challenges but also as way to better address youth concerns in situations of mass displacement. While this report specifically focuses on the Jordanian context, further research could be dedicated to comparing responses between the three major host countries of Syrian refugees. There are various initiatives throughout the region and one consolidated understanding of the variety of responses could feed into the future development and standardization of such responses. ARDD has a firm belief that the ongoing challenges outlined through this report can be worked through with consistent advocacy and coordination. However these challenges, can only be properly addressed if there is a solid commitment to higher education opportunities for refugees on the part of the international funding community. In short, sustainable funding is required. without this, practical concerns do not exist and all efforts are theoretical. The rhetoric and commitments made at the London Conference are a step in the right direction. Ensuring that the commitments made are translated into the provision of diverse educational entry points, including tertiary, post-basic, as well as academic options, will be key to ensuring the future of post-conflict Syria and the region more broadly.

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