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Higher Education in Protracted Situations: Existing Practices, Challenges, and Opportunities

Mon, March 26, 11:30am to 1:00pm, Hilton Reforma, Floor: 2nd Floor, Don Américo

Group Submission Type: Panel Session


This panel presentation brings together academics and practitioners around the growing need to research and implement quality higher education options for refugees in multiple contexts. The objective of the panel is to share current practices, identify challenges, and explore future needs in the area of higher education and forced displacement.

Panelist 1 will frame the conversation by introducing a preliminary theoretical framework to consider when researching and designing higher education programs for forcibly displaced populations. She will provide an overview of the “types” of higher education offerings currently in existence in various settings; identify preliminary gaps in offerings based on these existing offerings and perceived needs; and propose needs for future areas of research and programming to address these areas.

Panelist 2 will focus on the work of UNESCO in Jordan. The presentation will bring a multidimensional look at the higher education response in Jordan and contribute to the on-going conversation needed to continually improve higher education opportunities for youth.

Panelist 3 will provide a case study of higher education programming in Dzaleka refugee camp in Malawi. The research focuses on the work of Jesuit Worldwide Learning (JWL) and their online Diploma in Liberal Studies program. When refugees are confined to camps and unable to work and travel in search of economic opportunity, does completing an accredited diploma program improve their quality of life and contribute to their human capital? She will discuss whether accredited diploma programs have a significant influence on individuals as well as the larger camp community. The panelist will present her findings and make recommendations related to challenges of program implementation.

Panelist 4 will share resource on the role education plays in allowing refugees to give back to their country of origin, even if they don’t return; and how refugees use education as a coping mechanism for past trauma.

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