Article Title

Educate, Empower, Employ


Since the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, Lebanon is estimated to have taken in more than two million Syrian refugees. Due to policy and security obstacles, many of these refugees are considered by the Lebanese government to be living in Lebanon illegally, which restricts, among other aspects, their ability to continue employment or education. Based on field research conducted in-country through interviews, surveys, and focus groups, the authors have identified areas where innovative and inclusive higher education opportunities can be provided for Syrian refugees in Lebanon to allow them to move forward with their lives in self-sufficiency and dignity.

The research aimed to answer the following questions:

  • Where are the intersections of the interests and expectations of Syrian refugees in Lebanon with higher education and employment opportunities?
  • How do individual characteristics such as gender, age, time in exile, and class affect refugees’ perceptions of their higher education needs and ambitions?
  • What are the current barriers to accessing higher education, and what is the necessary support needed to overcome the barriers?
  • Where are the opportunities for universities to fill the gaps in programming or resources?