The RESCUE Partners gathered 20 experiences of work with Syrian refugees and IDPs during the period March-June 2017. Finally, after a selection phase, 17 of these experiences were analysed, 6 from European countries and 11 from partner countries.
The selection phase took into account the following aspects in order to collect and study the information properly:
- Projects, programs or activities running currently (at least during 2016). Activities or actions planned to be implemented in the future were excluded.
- Projects, programmes or activities with an impact or potential impact into the refugee crisis and the educational field.
- Projects, programmes or activities that give proper information in order to cover the majority of the questions proposed.
According with the selection criteria the initiatives were divided in 7 topical categories.
The Categories are the following:
- Social integration measures: addressed to improve the integration of refugee students in their new social and cultural environment. These initiatives cover a wide range of activities, for instance, language courses, raising awareness campaigns, activities;
- Labour market integration measures: actions, activities, and so on, addressed to improve refugee employability. The employability is defined as the capability of getting and keeping satisfactory work. In this field we find vocational training;
- Access to education. The access to education category involves measures addressed to facilitate, encourage and enhance the enrolment of refugee students into the educational system. This category integrates such measures as recruitment activities, removal or flexibility of some bureaucratic requirements, recognition of prior learning, accommodation;
- Financial support. The financial support includes free tuition fees, tuition discounts for Syrian students, scholarships, etc.
- Integration into the educational institution. In this category there are initiatives that fully or partially include activities addressed to facilitating the integration of Syrian students for instance buddy programs, mentoring, etc.
- Social and legal assistance. This is a complex category that includes psychosocial assistance and legal assistance;
- Networks/alliances. This category includes cooperation between different actors in the same initiative: NGOs (local, national, international), universities, European Union, United Nation agencies.
Important to point out that sometimes a single initiative can be categorized in more than one item.
La Sapienza (Italy)
Institutions: La Sapienza
Name of the Experience: II level University Master in International Protection of Human Rights
The II level University Master in International Protection of Human Rights, sponsored by the UN Regional Centre of Information, is held by the Political Sciences Department of Sapienza University of Rome and aims at training and supporting future professionals in the field of human rights.
The Master provides both theoretical and practical tools on human rights issues thanks to a two-cycle structure:
- the first cycle is dedicated to the international and regional systems of protection of human rights, rules, procedure and implementation of international agreements, case-law of international courts, humanitarian law, human rights and sustainable development, women and children’s rights;
- the second cycle include a three-month internship in NGOs, Public Administrations, International Organizations and Research centres. Internships vary from year to year (in past editions of the Master, students could choose UNHCR, IOM, CIR, Caritas, MSF, Intersos, and others).
The full-time annual Master, which was launched for the first time in academic year 2015- 2016, is currently in its third edition.
On one hand, the Master has a direct impact on all Master students, who receive highly valuable and recognized academic training and have the possibility of gaining work experience in major international and national bodies. Hence, they can aim at competitive positions in the labour market addressing human rights.
On the other hand, the Master has among its indirect beneficiaries, all the organizations and institutions working on human rights issues, which, through the collaboration with the Master Managers, enjoy direct access to highly specialized resources for their teams to guarantee the a high quality approach in their field of action.
Relevance of the development of initiative in its specific context
The Master reflects the growing attention of society and governments to issues related to human rights. Therefore, the Master aims to match the growing need of international, national and local bodies for relevant human resources, trained both theoretically and practically on human rights issues.
Partnership: The Disarmament Archive (Institute for International Research), Amnesty International Italy, Intersos (NGO), the Italian Council for Refugees (CIR), the Forensic Union for the Protection of Human rights and Caritas Rome (NGO) collaborate with the Master at different levels (i.e., providing lectures and documents on specific human rights-related subjects or offering internship positions).
The possibility for international and national bodies dealing with human rights to directly participate in the academic preparation and practical training of students makes the Master a highly specialized personnel incubator.
Hashemite University (Jordan)
Instituitions: Hashemite University
Name of the Experience: Establishment of an educational Program for the Syrian students
The objective of the “Establishment of an Educational Program for the Syrian Refugees” is to provide the Syrian refugees with the necessary soft skills and technical skills to cope with the difficult conditions they are facing. The program can be asset to them when they return to their country. The program is composed of 12 courses, 3 contact hours per week for 16 weeks for each course.
More information at Hashemite University
110 Syrian students are enrolled at various fields at Hashemite University a number of them have scholarships from international organizations and agencies such as the UNDP, programs. The Hashemite University in cooperation with the British Council organized for the courses in English to help them in their education process.
Here you have different types of financial aid that the university can receive to develop the activities/programs:
- Public Fundraising
- Private Fundraising
- Institution/organization internal budget
- Co-funding by EU/national or local government, etc.
The refugees are receiving the financial directly through a number of international agencies. The University facilitates this work but do not get the aid directly.
Still the University did not get any financial aid for the project
A number of the national NGO’s and United Nations Agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Hashemite University to help the Syrian refugees in a way or another
The estimated per refugee is 2160 J.D.
Each institution depending on its capability can decide to what level the project is transferable
The project is based on a long experience in educations and training courses and in organizing conducting and supervising long and large projects.
The project is innovative in trying to provide the refugees with soft and technical skills which is usually not provided by formal educational ways.
The project was submitted to a number of funding agencies and NGO’s and still waiting for their response.
Zarqa University (Jordan)
Institutions: Zarqa University
Name of Experience: English courses (by British Council) and labour market Integration
The university is hosting 1047 refugee student mainly from Syria. These students receive services from student’s affair services common to all students. The university realized that refugee students need:
- financial and psychiatric support
- integration courses into new education system
Therefore, university is working on developing new services:
- academic orientation
- special transportation arrangements for refugee camps
- library and study rooms
Nowadays, Zarqa University is hosting:
- English language courses given by British council in collaboration with local and international organizations university English courses. The British Council offers scholarships. The English language learning is needed in order to facilitate the success into the Jordan Higher Education System where the classes are given mainly in English.
- The University is participating in an employment program addressed to Syrian students within the Edu-Syria Scholarship program. 21 Syrian students have been employed in various departments and Faculties at the university, and also will work on employing students with difficult circumstances during the coming semesters. This initiative is to follow up on the situations of Syrian students’ refugee to improve their income, as a result of current conditions. 50 Refugees Education Support in Mena CoUntriEs.
Other student services provided by the University:
- Health insurance
- Study room for refugee students
- Small library for refugee students
The university would like to unify its array of services available to refugees in one center to allow managing and improving services in more efficient way.
More information about the project:
1047 students in all faculties.
The initiative anticipated benefits are shown in the survey about refugee student’s needs, which proved the need for English and basic science courses, and career development courses.
The English courses have more than 85 % of Syrian refugees enrolled.
Zarqa University is collaborating with the following NGOs and institutions in order to support refugee students:
- EDU-Syria 1 and 2: Madad fund (Erasmus+) in collaboration with German Jordan University is supporting refugee students with full scholarships
- DAFI and Alhakeer funds is providing full scholarships
- Recentlly, university signed agreement with HOPES to give scholarships for master students. 4) Emarati Red Crescent Fund.
- Amal Foundation
- Awon fund
- Algharra fund
Transferability can be encouraged by holding workshops and sharing with other institutions.
The innovative aspect is the interaction with NGOs, this allow brining diverse array of services to students and non-student refugees in the future.
Future collaboration with NGO’s initiatives will bring services to refugee students.
Some challenges have been identified, for exemple, the continuous collaboration with NGO’s is needed to bring specific services to refugee students, like postgraduate scholarships, career orientation, legal consulting. etc.
There are plans to develop preparation academic courses for discounted refugees to help in integration due to difference between education systems.