“The role of highly-skilled and educated young people in vulnerable communities is not often the focus of established humanitarian policies and programs. This neglect persists despite the fact that the stability of the Middle East-North Africa region, as well as the rebuilding of post-conflict Syria, depends on maintaining the human and intellectual capital these young people represent.” (“The War Follows Them: Syrian University Students & Scholars in Lebanon” – Keith Watenpaugh/Adrienne L. Fricke/James R. King/IIE / UC Davis)

compiled by JULIE POUCHER HARBIN, EDITOR, ISLAMiCommentary and TIRN on JUNE 1, 2015: 

Keith Watenpaugh (Director of the University of California Davis Human Rights Center), spoke in April at Duke University on “Syria’s Lost Generation.” His presentation took place as part of Duke University’s Middle East Refugees Awareness Week, April 8-17, 2015 and was based on research he and colleagues conducted about Syrian university students and scholars (refugees) in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan.

“We know from some pre-war statistics which are shaky at best that about 18% of the Syrian population between the ages of 16 and 24 go to some kind of secondary training, (including) universities. More city people go to university than people from the countryside,” he said, leading off his talk.

As of the date of the talk in April there were about 4 million Syrian refugees. WATCH WATENPAUGH’S TALK ABOVE. Links and information about his research below.

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Here is a link to the 2014 by Watenpaugh and co-authors Adrienne L. Fricke, and James R. King:“We Will Stop Here and Go No Further: Syrian University Students and Scholars in Turkey,” published by the Institute of International Education in conjunction with UC Davis.

“Despite the clear and substantial difficulties for Syrian university students [in Turkey], the Turkish government appears to be laying a legal and administrative foundation for increased higher education options. Whether this promise will be fulfilled will depend on both Turkish policies and the international community’s response to potential opportunities for partnership.” (“We Will Stop Here and Go No Further: Syrian University Students & Scholars in Turkey” –Keith Watenpaugh/Adrienne L. Fricke/James R. King/IIE / UC Davis) IIE / UC Davis)

READ REPORT

REPORT ABSTRACT:  The crisis in Syria continues to have a devastating impact on professors, university students, and the education sector, not only in Syria but also in the neighboring countries that are hosting so many displaced Syrians. In this report, the Institute of International Education (IIE) and its Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis look at the conditions and educational needs of Syrian university students and scholars in Turkey. “We Will Stop Here and Go No Further: Syrian University Students & Scholars in Turkey” is based on first-hand research and interviews conducted in Turkey in June and July 2014 through a joint effort by IIE and the University of California, Davis.

The report’s title refers to two possibilities. On the one hand, the authors conclude that a large number of Syrian young people will remain in Turkey even after the war in Syria concludes, as “Turkey’s size and supportive policies hold the potential to afford Syrians with educational and professional opportunities an environment to rebuild their lives.” Yet at the same time, “the challenges of displacement risk marginalizing these young people, leaving their human potential unfulfilled. If successive age-cadres of Syrians are unable to continue their education, Syria will lose its future doctors, teachers, engineers, and university professionals.”

“We Will Stop Here and Go No Further” concludes that as few as 1–2 percent of Syrian university-age students in Turkey were successfully enrolled at Turkish universities last year, including less than 1 percent of young women. These enrollment rates, however, increased by more than 300 percent between 2012–13 and 2013–14.

The report identifies:

  • The educational needs of Syrian faculty and university-age students in Turkey, including the barriers they face in accessing higher education.
  • Recommendations for increasing Syrians’ access to higher education in Turkey.
  • Opportunities and challenges for the international community to support Syrian university students and scholars in Turkey.

“We Will Stop Here and Go No Further” marks the third phase of a regional study by IIE and the University of California, Davis on the conditions and educational needs of Syrian university students and scholars in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. It follows earlier reports on the situations in Lebanon, The War Follows Them: Syrian University Students & Scholars in Lebanon,” and Jordan, Uncounted and Unacknowledged: Syria’s University Students & Academics in Jordan.”

Supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the project analyzes the impact of the refugee crisis on higher education and explores possible solutions for both Syrians and their host communities. It aims to provide policy and programmatic recommendations for increasing Syrians’ access to higher education, with the hope that donors, governments, international NGOs, and universities will use this research to develop effective local, regional, and global responses to the crisis.

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Here is a link to 2014 report by Watenpaugh and co-authors Adrienne L. Fricke, and James R. King:  “The War Follows Them: Syrian University Students and Scholars in Lebanon,” published by the Institute of International Education in conjunction with UC Davis.

READ REPORT

REPORT ABSTRACT: The crisis in Syria continues to have a devastating impact on professors, university students, and the education sector, not only in Syria but also in the neighboring countries that are hosting more than 3 million Syrian refugees. In this report, the Institute of International Education (IIE) and its Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis explore the conditions and educational needs of Syrian university students and scholars in Lebanon. “The War Follows Them: Syrian University Students and Scholars in Lebanon” is based on first-hand research and interviews conducted in Lebanon in March 2014 through a joint effort by IIE and the University of California, Davis.

According to the report, the overwhelming majority of Syrian university-age students in Lebanon, especially Syrian young women, are not continuing any form of higher education or advanced training; in addition, many are facing continued security concerns, as well as popular and official discrimination. The report recommends that the international community “begin to shift the cost of connecting Syrian university students with educational opportunities in contiguous host states.” It identifies:

  • Barriers Syrians face in accessing higher education in Lebanon
  • Existing programs and support models that are effective
  • Recommendations for increasing Syrians’ access to Lebanese universities

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Here is a link to 2013 report by Watenpaugh and co-authors Adrienne L. Fricke, and James R. King: “Uncounted and Unacknowledged: Syria’s Refugee University Students and Academics in Jordan (2013),”  published by the Institute of International Education in conjunction with UC Davis.

READ REPORT

REPORT ABSTRACT: The crisis in Syria continues to have a devastating impact on professors, university students, and the education sector, not only in Syria but also in the neighboring countries that are hosting so many displaced Syrians. In this report, the University of California, Davis and the Institute of International Education (IIE) look at the conditions and educational needs of Syrian university students and scholars in Jordan. “Uncounted and Unacknowledged: Syria’s Refugee University Students and Academics in Jordan” is based on first-hand research and interviews conducted in Jordan in April 2013 through a research collaboration between IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund and the University of California, Davis.

“The dual impact of institutional collapse and worsening security means that Syria faces the loss of a generation of university graduates. These constitute a special group within the conflict’s victims because they include Syria’s brightest and most ambitious young people. They are the human capital that will be critical to the rebuilding of Syrian society after the conflict has ended, and they will have an even more crucial role to play as a modern and moderating force in confronting the religious intolerance and ethnic hatred that increasingly defines the war in their homeland.” (“Uncounted and Unacknowledged: Syria’s Refugee University Students and Academics in Jordan (2013),”– Keith Watenpaugh/Adrienne L. Fricke/James R. King/IIE / UC Davis)

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Below is a Storify of part of Watenpaugh’s talk along with a Tweets from a previous talk by Dawn Chatty, director of the Oxford Refugee Studies Center, on “Dispossession and Forced Migration in the Arab Middle East.” You can find Dr. Chatty’s talk here:

 

The Middle East Refugees Awareness Week was co-sponsored by the Duke Middle East Studies Center (DUMESC), the Duke Islamic Studies Center (DISC) and the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, and all events were dedicated to the memory of Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha, who worked on behalf of refugees.

 

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