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
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” – IIE / UC Davis
Select media coverage:
- “More Syrians in Lebanon: Fewer in Universities” (also available in Arabic) –Al-Fanar Media
- “Crisis of Displaced Syrian Students Out of University” –University World News
- “Refugees From Syria Excluded From Lebanese Universities” –Times Higher Education
- “Education, Interrupted” –Pacific Standard
IIE / UC Davis Study on the Syrian Conflict, Refugee Crisis, and Higher Education
“The War Follows Them” marks the second 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. An earlier report on the situation in Jordan, “Uncounted and Unacknowledged”: Syria’s University Students and Academics in Jordan,” was published in May 2013.
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.