Refugees and Higher Education

Trans-national Perspectives on Access, Equity, and Internationalization


Refugees and Higher Education provides a cross-disciplinary lens on one American university’s approach to studying the policies, practices, and experiences associated with the higher education of refugee background students. The focus is not only on refugee education as an issue of access and equity, but also on this phenomenon as seen through the lens of internationalization. What competencies are called for among university faculty and staff welcoming refugee-background students to their institutional contexts? How might “distance learning” be considered anew? These challenges and opportunities for institutional growth will be closely considered by this group of authors from educational leadership, social work, curriculum development, and higher education itself. They address key world regions, and sub-topics ranging from online education in refugee camps to the Brazilian and Colombian responses to the emerging crisis in Venezuela. Scholars researching refugee education cross-nationally often find that refugee education literature is parsed by disciplinary field. This book, in contrast, offers a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary overview of refugee education issues around the world. These perspectives also provide key insights for faculty and staff at higher education institutions that currently enroll asylees or refugees, as well as those that may do so in the future.

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Lisa Unangst is a PhD candidate in Higher Education at Boston College. She has published in the Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management and Policy Reviews in Higher Education. Her research focuses on refugee education in Germany and elsewhere.

Hakan Ergin is a Lecturer at Istanbul University. He previously completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center for International Higher Education, Boston College. His research interests include internationalization of higher education, adult education, migration, right to education and distance learning.

Araz Khajarian is a master’s student at Boston College. She earned her B.A. from Salve Regina University after previous study at the Higher Institute of Business Administration in Damascus. Her thesis examines context-relativity in organizational culture at a Jordanian university.

Tessa DeLaquil is a Ph.D. student and research assistant at CIHE, Boston College. Her research interests include the philosophy of higher education and religious pluralism. She previously attended Queen’s University and the Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Hans de Wit has published many articles on international higher education and was founding editor of the Journal of Studies in International Education and founding member of the European Association for International Education. He is Director of Boston College’s CIHE.
Series Preface
Hans de Wit, Philip Altbach and Rebecca Schendel
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

Part 1: Framing the Landscape

1 Refugees and Higher Education: Trans-national Perspectives on Access, Equity, and Internationalization
Hans de Wit, Tessa DeLaquil, Hakan Ergin, Araz Khajarian and Lisa Unangst
2 Refugee Higher Education in Contexts of Displacement: Educational Approaches and Programmatic Initiatives
Thomas M. Crea and David Holdcroft
3 Questioning the Ethics and Rationale of Refugee Research
Hakan Ergin

Part 2: Regional and National Perspectives

Section 1: Latin America

4 Higher Education’s Response to Refugee Crises: Applying Lessons from the Syrian Conflict to the Venezuelan Context
Natalie Borg
5 Colombian Institutional Responses to the Venezuelan Refugee Crisis
Hannah Maria Cazzetta
6 Going Above and Beyond Access to Higher Education: The Brazilian Case
Kelber Tozini

Section 2: North America

7 The Staying Dynamic among Syrian Students in the U.S.
Araz Khajarian
8 Latin Americans in the United States: Considerations on Immigrant and Refugee Access to Higher Education
Gabrielle Oliveira and Corinne Kentor
9 Human Rights Discourse and the US Education Landscape: Refugee-Specific Activity at Colleges and Universities in Idaho and Maine
Lisa Unangst

Section 3: Europe

10 Higher Education Innovations in Response to the Needs of Syrian Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Germany and Elsewhere
Natalie Borg
11 Vocational Training, “Upskilling,” and Paths to Higher Education for Refugees: Insights from Germany and Sweden
Narintohn Luangrath
12 Refugees Access to Higher Education in Ireland
Michael Cronin, Clíodha Murphy, David M. Doyle, Delma Byrne and Muiread Murphy

Section 4: Asia and Oceania

13 Towards Human Rights and Human Dignity for the Stateless in Higher Education: Denied Access to Higher Education for Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh
Tessa DeLaquil
14 At the Policy Margins: People from Refugee Backgrounds in Australian Higher Education
Andrew Harvey and Betty Leask

Section 5: Ethiopia

15 Higher Education for Refugees in Ethiopia
Ayenachew A. Woldegiyorgis
16 Self-Financing as a New Stream of Refugee Higher Education: The Case of Eritreans in Ethiopia
Wondwosen Tamrat and Samuel Dermas Habtemariam

Section 6: Turkey

17 Struggles and Assets of Syrian University Students in Turkey
Özgür Erdur-Baker, Onur Özmen, İdil Aksöz-Efe, Tamer Aker and M. Brinton Lykes
18 Integrating Syrian Refugees into Turkish Higher Education: Successes, Challenges, and Future Implications
Armağan Erdoğan and Hakan Ergin

Part 3: The K-12 to University Pipeline

19 Lessons from the Primary and Secondary School Context: Building Capacity to Support Migrant and Refugee Students
Rebecca Lowenhaupt and Martin Scanlan
20 The K-12 to University Pipeline in the U.S. context: Implications for Refugee Students
Kerri Evans and Lisa Unangst

This publication targets higher education scholars and practitioners working in refugee-receiving contexts worldwide. Global education sector actors will also find its cross-disciplinary approach compelling.
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