Waiting, hopes and futures: higher education for the displaced students from Syria in Lebanon and Jordan

Wu, Wen-Yu ORCID: 0000-0002-7269-7957 (2022). Waiting, hopes and futures: higher education for the displaced students from Syria in Lebanon and Jordan. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The thesis concerns the future, or futures, in young people’s pursuit of higher education in refugee situations in Lebanon and Jordan. The project is an empirical study about the experiences and responses that are less visible yet central to the everyday life of the young population who are displaced due to the 2011 Syrian uprising and the subsequent conflicts. Situating higher education for refugees in the overlapping global and national frameworks of humanitarianism and development, the project asks how refugee students experience and respond to the educational opportunities and lack thereof. Acknowledging intersecting experiences in the everyday life of the young participants, the thesis also looks into the strategies students devised in hoping towards higher education, and in negotiating the period of “waiting” as a refugee and as a young person entering adulthood.

To understand the experiences, strategies, and responses to the challenges of the everyday in relation to educational pursuits, the project takes an interdisciplinary, ethnographic and reflexive approach to gather insights that focused on refugees’ everyday experiences, emotions and strategies in the struggles they face. The fieldwork took place during September 2018-April 2019 mainly in the urban areas of Lebanon and Jordan.

With its experience-near interpretations, the thesis broadens the understanding of the complex temporal and affective aspects of refugees’ experiences in higher education and their expectations towards the future. It fills the critical gap of research on refugee higher education in Southern contexts. By engaging with the meanings of “hope” and “the future” often presented in the practical field of refugee education, it argues that education and higher education for refugees cannot fulfil “hopes for the future” with the current dominant humanitarian logic of minimal provision and crisis-informed and temporary patchwork. It argues that meaningful participation, rather than liminal access, is what embodies education that contains a future. Education that contains a future is by no means abstract but is in the very practical sense of everyday commuting, networking, initiating, participating and hoping.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education, Department of Education and Social Justice
Funders: Other
Other Funders: University of Birmingham
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
L Education > L Education (General)
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/12694


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