Name and Leading Organization
Study to Design a Programme / Clearinghouse Providing Access to Higher Education for Syrian Refugees and Internal Displaced Persons, Submission: 24th of March 2015, Team: IreneLORISIKA, Leon CREMONINI, Malaz SAFAR JALANI (ENPI 2014 350-391_171014)
The project aims to provide services allowing Syrian IDPs inside Syria and Syrian refugees as well as disadvantaged youth from host communities in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq to follow further education with the objective to improve their social-economic perspective in life. Since, in this part, we are concerned about Syrian refugees inside Jordan, the focus will mainly be on the project’s approach to Syrian refugees, Syrian VGs and VGs in Jordan who benefit from this program. The estimate number of registered Syrian refugees aged between 18 and 24 in Jordan is 77,718. The number of Syrian refugee students enrolled in Higher Education is 6,057.
The project aims to support 3000 young Syrians (mainly in the age group 18-24) in Syria and disadvantaged youth in host countries in the region (Iraq (KRG), Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey) as well as disadvantaged youth form the host communities.
- To support the delivery of bachelor programs on higher education Syrian IDPs, refugees and disadvantaged youth in host communities in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Turkey.
- To support the delivery of vocational education to Syrian IDPs, refugees and disadvantaged youth in host communities in Lebanon and Jordan.
- To support the delivery of distance learning to Syrian refugees and disadvantaged youth in host communities in Iraq/KRG.
- To set up additional support mechanism for coaching, livelihood, transport and access to university facilities for the students who are participating in these programs.
- To provide guidance and orientation for the target group to identify the most appropriate education opportunity.
- To contribute to the wellbeing of young people by providing economic opportunities.
The program attempts to provide equal access to further and higher education in the region for Syrian youth who have finished their Tawjihi exam (Secondary School Certificate) in Syria or in the neighbouring countries without being able to continue their University studies or had to abandon their studies because of the war and displacements. The program meets the needs of the target group for participating in EQF levels 3, 4, 5 and 6 (or equivalent) education: the program will target university programs at BA level (first university cycle) and vocational education at tertiary level. An intensive cooperation between donors in education and higher education as well as between separate donors under the leadership of UNHCR a UNESO which focus on all issues higher education for Syrian refugee students. Since employers in the region have noticed that Jordanian universities do not provide students with skills and training required for the workforce and that they, universities, only focus on academic certificates rather than vocational training, there was a call to focus more on providing vocational training for Syrian refugee students since their studies courses are shorter and hence they are sooner available on the labor market.
- The contribution of Tempus and current Erasmus+ programs which aim at strengthening the capacity of universities to deal with international cooperation projects and the sudden influx of students, as well as grant management.
- This contribution helps in providing the local universities such as German Jordan University (GJU) with the relevant project management skills as well as familiarization with EU procedures for the financial reporting of large scale individual grants for students.
- With the EUR 12 million already allocated from the Madad Trust Fund in support of Higher Education, a first regional project has been awarded after a competitive grant award procedure to the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
- This program which was implemented since spring 2016 onwards aims to provide circa 300 direct scholarships to refugees from Syria and disadvantaged students from host communities in the neighbouring countries in order to complete their higher education and shorter-course vocational studies. In addition, it is estimated that circa 4000 students will benefit from language access courses.
- The German Government is active in the region in the field of support refugees in higher education through 2 different programs: the DAFI program and the New Perspectives Scholarship which mainly targets Syrian refugees.
In Jordan, Higher Education has initiated a program in August 2015 which is funded fully by the EU. Through the support of local public and private sector organizations led by the German Jordanian University in partnership with Yarmouk University, Zarqa University and Al-Quds College, a co-ordinated response in the field of higher education has been developed. 3,100 students benefit from this program of which 70% of them are Syrian and 30% are disadvantaged Jordanian in academic and language skills training; 750 in distance education and MOOCS, 80 in HND level 5 (=associate degree), 290 in BA and 20 in MD courses. Separately 400 students will receive one year vocational education under an EU funded UNESCO contract as well as 400 students receiving a 6 months vocational orientation program in Zaatari camp. This program has started in February 2016.
About 650 Syrian refugees, IDPs and disadvantaged youth in host communities have received a certificate in vocational education in Jordan and Lebanon.
Moreover, the EU has also supported students ( Syrian refugees and Jordanians) of through the Erasmus Mundus program, and has provided capacity building assistance to higher education institutions through the Tempus program. Jordan is now a partner country of the newly launched Erasmus + program.
- In Jordan the donor co-operation in the field of higher education is just starting between the German Embassy, DfID, USAID, UNESCO, UNHCR, individual organizations of Higher Education and vocational education and the EU.
- The GJU is in the current grant contract providing 85% of the funds to students and their living conditions. The GJU has given evidence of ‘sound financial management’ in previous grant projects under Tempus. The size of the implementation of the programs by GJU as well as their outreach efficiency and cost effectiveness, positions both organizations very well for implementing a further regional program that aims to provide a massive increase of providing study opportunities for Syrian students. The GJU has the absorption capacity to take new partners on board as it has demonstrated with numerous Tempus and Erasmus+ projects. Also for this project several additional Jordanian universities and vocational training centres have xpressed their interest to work with GJU.
- The program supports a limited number of vulnerable Syrian refugee students.
- A research under 931 students in Jordan shows that a majority of students favour bachelor degrees (62%), and to a lesser extent vocational education(16%) and on-line learning.
- The recognition of (certified) copies is a major issue hampering students in the access to formal learning structures in the host countries. For this reason it is strongly recommended that the host countries address the issue of recognition of prior learning for students with interrupted studies
Difficulties or constrains for its implementation
- No additional availabilities of international assistance and finance.
- Actors in the region lose interest in providing required information to link to the initiative of this project.
- National accreditation systems need to have the organizational, technical and financial capacity to engage on online education.
- The recognition of prior learning and the accreditation of previously gained certificates and diplomas inside Syria and in particular in the diplomas provided by education establishments under the FSA.
- Higher education institutions are open to using some resources (funding, time, personnel) in projects to support access and study success of vulnerable youth with support from this program.
- The management of expectations, this programs aims to serve a limited group of students who are currently registered while at the end of the school year 2015/2016
- Currently the duration of the program cannot be extended beyond December 2019, leaving the education program a semester short of implementation for those who follow a bachelor degree program and want to start in year 1.
CRITERIA actors or stakeholders are using to assess them as a “good practice”
The recognition of (certified) copies is important to help students get an access to formal learning structures in the host countries.
Estimation based on United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), Population Division (2013)
 Syrian Central Bureau of Statistics