Strategies, Policies, and Directions for Refugee Education: Volume 13

Cover of Strategies, Policies, and Directions for Refugee Education
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Table of contents

(21 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xii
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Part I Access to Higher Education

Abstract

This chapter highlights the plight of refugees and the strategies and policies crafted by international agencies and non-governmental institutions in providing better access to education especially for refugee children. The chapter explores some of the key terminologies that distinguish refugees from asylum seekers and internally displaced person. The terminologies are significant as the opportunities and facilities handed out differ significantly depending on their status. The chapter then talks about some of the policies toward imparting education and the school- and system-level factors responsible for accessing education. The last section of the chapter summarizes the overview of various chapters that will feature in this volume, talking about cases and interventions from Malawi to Australia.

Abstract

The focus of this chapter is to analyze the impacts of the Boko Haram insurgency on education in the northeast of Nigeria. It also aims to examine the effectiveness of the educational interventions in the devastated communities in the northeastern states of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, and Gombe. It begins with an introduction, in which the origin of the conflict is traced and linked to the group’s campaign of violence that targets schools, teachers, education workers, and students. The chapter discusses and chronologically lists out specific attacks on education and how the attacks have significantly affected access to education and increased the number of out-of-school children. It concludes by looking at the education emergencies that have arisen in the region, how the interventions have tried to address them, and the outcomes of the interventions.

Abstract

There are approximately 24 million children living in conflict areas across the globe who are not enrolled in school. The reasons vary greatly; while some have access to a school, many do not attend. School safety is a primary concern, in the form of bullying and racism, school attacks, and sexual abuse. Other refugee children are required to find employment during normal school hours to help their family. In addition, host governments struggle to find qualified teachers and administrators in many of these conflict-strewn nations. Over the next 10 years, these unschooled refugees will reach adulthood, lacking the tools necessary to build successful lives, either abroad or back in their devastated homelands.

The modern homeschooling movement presents an opportunity to address these challenges. Key technological enablers – fast microprocessors, high-speed internet, cloud computing, etc. – are becoming ubiquitous and cheap. Online, free curriculum, combined with translation software, presents a new paradigm. Even caregivers with limited education themselves can facilitate a learning environment in the home, wherever that home may be. While homeschooling will not work in every situation, it could quickly become an option that positively affects the future of tens of thousands of refugees.

Abstract

The focus of this paper is to compare access to higher education by Syrian refugees in Jordan and Germany. Background of the Syrian refugee crisis and its scope are provided before delving into a description of the university-age population among Syrian refugees in both countries. The nature of access to higher education in both countries is first examined before conducting a comparative analysis of the two. Implications and recommendations for policy and practice are provided.

Abstract

This chapter examines the dynamics of the Boko Haram insurgency in northeastern Nigeria and its effects on higher education in Nigeria. Insurgency has affected all the nook and crannies of northern Nigeria and has gone unabated, owing particularly to the institutional framework adopted to manage peace and resolve the conflict with severe implication on higher education in the region. Insurgency has caused catastrophic humanitarian crises through widespread infrastructural devastation, and massive dislocations and losses of human life. The incidence of insurrections, insurgencies, and counter insurgency activities in each of the conflict clusters in the northeast geo-political zone of Nigeria has been associated with widespread human insecurity and displacement of populations. Using both primary and secondary methods of data collection, the chapter examines how the role of government and policies has become central to educational development in the country. It also shows the extent to which the activities of the Boko Haram insurgency have affected students’ school enrolment and performance in northeastern Nigeria. The chapter further examines internally displaced persons (IDPs) and access to education in northeastern Nigeria and interrogates the role of the Nigerian state and agencies responsible for the management of IDPs in meeting their education needs in camps. It also examines the extent to which stakeholders in the management of IDPs have gone in initiating policies and programs that promotes access to education in IDP camps in northeast Nigeria. It concludes that the number of schools available in the conflict spots has reportedly been reduced because of the fact they are now occupied by IDPs. Most of the students in high school as well as universities in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states have had their opportunities for higher education severely constrained. The chapter recommends among others that protection of staff, students, and education workers working in the northeast region is imperative. In order to do so successfully, changes must be effected in the provisions contained in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that relate to the management of IDPs.

Abstract

The chapter describes the refugee crisis, its various challenges, and followed by arguments on recognizing refugee qualifications. Key contexts related to refugees including human rights (especially to education and work), access and equity in education and the labor force, and refugee integration into host countries. The Norwegian Quality Assurance Agency’s initiatives on the recognition of refugee qualifications and the establishment of a European Passport for Refugees are presented to highlight the importance of increasing refugee access to further education and entry to the labor force through facilitating recognition of their qualifications.

Abstract

We consider the challenges to education in South Sudan by utilizing a national random sample of South Sudanese (provided by the BBC Media Action) and then semi-structured interviews with eight education service providers (SPs). We find that the conflicts have large impacts on educational opportunities. States that experience greater conflict also experience greater poverty. Under such conditions, children are important for providing resources for the family and education can become secondary. In these conflict areas, respondents are more likely to agree that education is more important for boys than for girls. SPs detail the large number of obstacles to delivering education. Displacement and fleeing danger creates problems with hunger, illness, and safety. SPs discuss the variability of resources, the scarcity of schools and teachers, and the uncertainty of life in South Sudan. They also discuss triumphs they have experienced and suggest changes or interventions that could increase educational opportunities.

Abstract

Students with disabilities face numerous challenges in the institutions of learning especially in developing countries. Refugees student with disabilities face double jeopardy as they face discrimination due to their disability and because of their refugee status. In Zimbabwe the rights of refugees with disabilities are not well respected as enshrined in the international statues such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Universities in Zimbabwe appreciate that refugees are part of their diverse population and this includes the presence of students with disabilities who are also refugees. They have adopted a number of initiatives to accommodate these students. The disability resource centers at these institutions have been given the leading role in helping students with disabilities who are refugees to feel at home. The student affairs department also provides the necessary assistance that is required by these students. Refugees often require counseling to be able to deal with the past and the future challenges. Hence, counseling facilities are provided by the universities so that students who are refugees are mentally psyched so that they are able to perform well in their class. The language barrier was identified as deterrent to the success of refugees in their studies. Universities offer English language tutorials for free to the refugee students prior to the attendance of their degree programs. Challenges that are faced by refugee students with disabilities cannot be solved by government alone hence partnerships with non-governmental organizations (NGOs). NGOs have been at the forefront of assisting these students with scholarships and assistive devices because some students with disabilities do not afford to source the devices due to their prohibitive costs.

Abstract

The war in Syria has left a trail of unprecedented displacement and disruption, and consequently the lack of higher education opportunities for tens of thousands of young Syrians. As of 2017, only 1% of the global refugee population is able to access tertiary education programs in stark contrast to the up to 26% university-level participation in Syria prior to the war.

Jamiya Project, one organization that has aimed at improving access to higher education opportunities for Syrian students in the Middle East, piloted an Introduction to Java Programming course in the Fall/Winter of 2016/2017. The course was free to access, accredited by the University of Gothenburg, taught in Arabic, and delivered through a blended learning model alongside education technology partners and non-governmental organization-facilitated learning centers on the ground. The Jamiya Project partnered with Syrian academics in exile in developing and delivering the course.

This chapter outlines the vision and the methodology behind the actions of the Jamiya Project during this pilot course and aims to share lessons learned from the experiences, reflections, and iterations of research from the course with students and academics. There is no doubt that a collaborative effort is required to mitigate the serious effects of this crisis.

Abstract

Since the 1970s, Malawi has been a host to asylum seekers fleeing from liberation and civil wars in Mozambique, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and the Zaire/Democratic Republic of the Congo (Makhema, 2009). As a signatory to international legal instruments governing refugees and asylum seekers, Malawi, whose constitution advocates for education rights for all, is obligated to host the refugees and provide for their needs such as pre-primary, primary, secondary and higher education, health, and security.

In this chapter, the authors discuss the history of refugee flows into Malawi and refugee education policy within the national education policies in Malawi. In particular, the authors argue that refugees are part of Malawi’s social and demographic reality and their education needs and rights should be factored into the country’s higher education policy and annual national budgets. The authors further make proposals for extending equitable higher education access to accommodate refugee applicants.

The authors conclude by recommending that, in order for Malawi to live by its commitments to serve all humanity without segregation, it should reserve a quota for refugees in public universities, or at least welcoming refugee applicants on local fees terms.

Abstract

Recent refugee integration policy agendas include education on the lists, despite many other issues to address. Higher education can also be an instrument to prevent a generation of a war-stricken nation from becoming “lost” for not only for Syria but also Europe. Following the drastic inflow of (mostly young) refugees, Belgian higher education institutions started to work on fresh strategies and initiatives to embrace refugees in their university and colleges. Yet, the number of Syrian refugees at the Belgian universities does not exceed 400, while the estimated eligible young people are above 1,500. In order to increase the participation in higher education, national authorities and higher education institutions should re-work on flexible but efficient procedures for the recognition of degrees and prior gained qualifications. Moreover, all individual efforts by the colleges and the universities can be empowered by a collaborative network among all Belgian higher education institutes, governmental offices and the non-governmental organizations. Surmounting the lack of central coordination and developing a national action plan is needed. Short-term actions are immediately required to battle against the contemporary challenges with tertiary education access of the refugees; however, the need for actions that aim at long-reaching sustainability is eminent to secure refugees’ integration into their host communities.

Abstract

Against the danger of a lost generation of Syrian children, both Turkish state and civil society organizations (CSO) have developed strategies to bridge the education gap of Syrian children. In that context, this chapter explores the relationship between the Turkish state and civil society in education provision for non-camp Syrian refugees between 2011 and 2016. Presenting civil society as a theoretical framework in refugee education, this study aims to contribute to the debates on education in an era of mass displacement on an institutional level. The role of civil society against the state in education for Syrian refugees is put under scrutiny with an emphasis on the repercussions of the unprecedented number of non-citizen students for state-centered, secular, and monocultural visions of education. In doing so, this study uses policy documents between 2011 and 2016 circulated by Ministry of National Education and data gathered from interviews conducted with representatives of state and CSOs.

Part II Education Toward Career Development

Abstract

This chapter discusses the challenges and support structures of MENA refugee women in their workforce transitions after resettlement in the United States. With a growing number of displaced individuals worldwide, the United States will undoubtedly continue to welcome immigrants and refugees in the coming years. While women comprise half of this population, MENA women participate in the US workforce at a far lower rate than do men from MENA. However, there is limited research examining workforce transitions for MENA refugee women once resettled. The partnerships of community stakeholders, including the education sector, non-government organizations, refugee agencies, and employers, are responsible for facilitating MENA refugee women toward self-sufficiency. Implications and suggestions for future research involving MENA refugee women are provided.

Abstract

The scientific literature on career counseling has been amassing, over more than 100 years, a vast collection of theories, models and approaches to career design, construction, and development. However, neither theories, nor research or practice concerning career issues, have consistently produced scientifically valid, socially just, or individually adjusted responses. This is especially salient when it comes to migration cases, which are by nature complex and diversified, and even more so when applied to refugees whose integration depends on models and strategies that are culturally sensitive. This chapter pursues a comprehensive review of existing models of career guidance and their supporting research and applies them to the specific needs of refugees. It also provides suggestions for intervention that address this issue in a culturally sensitive manner. In this vein, the authors present an example of the international project Live2Work, aimed at increasing the chances for successful integration of people in situations of professional vulnerability.

Abstract

Although the right to education is consecrated by international agreements, UNHCR reports that only 1% of refugees attend university. Grass root campaigns have arisen as one way of helping refugee and displaced students to access universities. The Oxford Students Refugee Campaign (OxSRC), launched in October 2015, aimed to establish a student-financed scholarship fund within the University of Oxford. As a result of the first year of campaigning, more than 12,000 students have pledged to contribute to the fund at a ratio of one pound per month. This has enabled the creation of the Oxford Student Scholarships, for students whose education has been disrupted due to the humanitarian or political situation in their country of residence. This chapter aims to build on the experience of the OxSRC to draw valuable lessons for universities and campaign leaders in other places. First, a set of financial barriers hindering access to the application process itself are reviewed. Second, the various documentary barriers impacting students’ completion and submission of applications are analyzed. Finally, this chapter examines psycho-social barriers that impinge on refugee students’ preparations for their chosen programme of study.

Abstract

Since 2013 northern Iraq, especially Kurdistan regional province, has seen a constant influx of refugees and internally displaced people (IDP) from Syria, Mosul and the mountains of Sinjar. Number of refugee camps has grown over the years. Over 2.2 million displaced Iraqis are living in private dwellings in host communities, over 700,000 with host families, and nearly 1.5 million in rented accommodation, and mostly in 47 camps across the region. The province is facing additional pressure on public services, including health, education, and infrastructure causing hardship for both communities and individuals, who must cope with uncertain economic and social conditions while striving to improve the situation and provide for their families. The magnitude of the problem has compelled countries and provinces shielding the IDPs to collaborate with wider range of partners in a growing recognition of the imperative and immediate need, both humanitarian and self-development. The authors of this chapter have highlighted certain case studies with whom they have been directly connected to. The effort was to use push factors and work toward capacity building of the IDPs and thereby work toward a self-reliant and self-sufficient livelihood.

Abstract

It is well recognized that students from refugee backgrounds are typically predisposed to social, economic, and educational disadvantage. These layers of disadvantage can negatively impact upon higher education participation, not only in undergraduate, but also postgraduate education. This is even more pronounced in high stakes courses (e.g., medicine), where competition for entry is fierce. Pursuing medicine is arguably a pipedream for most immigrants from refugee backgrounds.

We incorporate a retrospective narrative based on the first author’s experience of a major policy change. Using historical correspondence records, the authors present the story of an unsuccessful applicant with a refugee background, who questioned why she was denied entrance into medicine. Her appeal triggered the establishment of a refugee subquota into graduate entry medicine. This chapter describes the antecedents, development, and subsequent successful implementation of this policy initiative. The broader implications for the healthcare system, patient care, and medical education are discussed. This chapter concludes by urging higher education institutions to review their policies so that students with a refugee background are fairly represented across all courses and careers, providing them with the opportunity to convert their pipedreams into possibilities.

Abstract

The Thai–Burma refugee program of Australian Catholic University (ACU) brings young Burmese refugees from camps in Thailand to an internet-equipped teaching center to study for a Diploma in Liberal Studies. Some of the learning is carried out online and some in face-to-face mode provided by ACU or partner universities.

The authors detail the methodologies followed, combining sound pedagogy with an integral human development approach. This changed the students’ mode of learning from rote to critical thinking which, in turn, improved their self-confidence, gave them a good ethical and culturally acceptable grounding and provided them with fluency in oral and written academic English. In addition, the authors recount the many challenges faced by bringing together students from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds with all the baggage brought from a conflict ridden and divided country emerging out of decades of dictatorship.

The program’s results have been remarkable. Many students have found high-quality employment after graduating, especially with non-governmental organizations on the border or in Burma or in some other job serving the needs of their own people. Others have used the Diploma to go on to full degree courses in a number of countries in Asia, North America, and Europe.

Index

Pages 291-305
Content available
Cover of Strategies, Policies, and Directions for Refugee Education
DOI
10.1108/S2055-3641201813
Publication date
2018-11-16
Book series
Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78714-798-0
eISBN
978-1-78714-797-3
Book series ISSN
2055-3641