RESCUE finds common needs among Universities in mena countries when dealing with refugee students

The need for language courses, recognition of prior learning and financial and psychological support is common among the seven partner Universities in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq (KRG).

On the September 26 and 27, 2017, the Lebanese University (Beirut) is hosting a partnership meeting of the Refugees Education Support in mena CoUntriEs (RESCUE) project, co-funded by the ERASMUS+ Capacity building for Higher Education programme of the European Union.

Since its inception in early 2017, the project has made significant progress in analysing in detail the specific needs and constraints of the seven partner Universities in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq (the Kurdistan region) when dealing with refugee and Internally Displaced students willing to resume their training paths.

This analysis was carried out through paper questionnaires and on the occasion of three extensive site visits in the target countries performed by the staff of the European partners accompanied by a representative of AArU, the Association of Arab Universities. During these visits, not only the relevant Universities were interviewed, but also other important stakeholders such as local NGO’s and public institutions were consulted.

All this information has then been analysed and elaborated in a comprehensive report, which confirms the fact that it is virtually impossible to design a set of solutions which would fit all the partner Universities, but identifies some common issues:

  • The need for language courses.
  • The need for the recognition of prior learning (to different degrees of severity in the various Higher Education Systems).
  • The need for financial support to students (in terms of spreading awareness about existing opportunities).
  • The need for psychological support.

Other issues such as legal support and the provision of Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses are less homogeneously spread but present in many Universities.

In parallel to this, a set of best practices in the area of interest of the project have been collected and are being compiled in report to be published soon.