Access to higher education for refugees in Jordan

Throughout the five-year Syrian refugee crisis, education for refugee children has been prioritized in development, humanitarian aid, media coverage, discussion, and research. Extensive efforts have been made to increase children’s access to basic education to ensure their continued healthy development and provide security and stability during the refugee experience. As the majority of Syrian refugees in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan are under the age of 17, this attention is not unfounded. However, refugees’ access to higher education in Jordan did not receive the same focus. The initial response to higher education was isolated and sporadic, only recently becoming coordinated as the crisis and consequent displacement became protracted. While movement on the issue did not really begin until 2015, conversation and advocacy on the issue had started long before. This paper maps the prior and current initiatives undertaken and the ongoing challenges present for refugees and other stakeholders. This is done with a clear ambition to contribute to the ongoing development of such programs as well as allow for reflection on how such programs could be better implemented in responses to mass displacement.


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