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No lost student generation: Syrian refugees need better integration into Jordan's academic system

JOSY Konferenz 2018, Dr. Michaela Baur, Botschafterin Birgitta Siefker-Eberle, S.E. Minister Prof. Adel Tweissi

JOSY Konferenz 2018, © (c) Deutsche Botschaft Amman

14.03.2018 - Pressemitteilung

Jordanian and German experts on higher education came together in Amman to talk about a better integration of refugees into the university system of Jordan and to find solutions for the high demand of an academic career of refugees.

Amman, March 7-8th 2018. Jordanian and German experts on higher education came together in Amman to talk about a better integration of refugees into the university system of Jordan and to find solutions for the high demand of an academic career of refugees. Important recommendations were such as the provision of study counseling specifically for the needs of refugees as well as better coordination between universities. It was also recommended to better coordinate within the Jordanian government and with the donors. According to the participants, for this purpose, an institutional platform is needed. The two days conference was organized by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).

The aim of the gathering was to bring together key actors of Higher Education, from Germany and Jordan, to review the current situation of Syrian refugee students in the Hashemite Kingdom, and to strengthen the Jordanian universities in their role as humanitarian actors.

GIZ and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) are currently running the program “Higher Education creates Prospects for young Syrians and Jordanians” (JOSY) which is financed by the German Ministry for Cooperation (BMZ). JOSY started in 2015 and has now more than 80 scholarship holders, half Jordanians and half Syrians.

The Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Prof. Adel Tweissi, remarked in his opening speech that Jordan stands on high moral grounds for Syrian students to pursue their Higher Education. In past years Jordan paved the way for Syrian students to transfer smoothly into the Jordanian university system. Already now, Syrian students represent 15% of the International student body in Jordanian Higher Education institutions.

The Ambassador of Germany to Jordan, Ms. Birgitta Maria Siefker-Eberle, appreciated the long-standing cooperation between Jordan and Germany in her welcome remarks. She pointed out that

although tremendous efforts were made by institutions of Higher Education in Jordan, the access to higher education for refugee students in Jordan is still insufficient. She added: “We cannot afford a dangerous gap in the learning and qualification of Syria's young generation, the generation that one day will have to rebuild Syria. We should therefore unite all our efforts to prevent a 'lost generation'”. The Ambassador also stressed the importance of quality education for a sustainable development and mentioned the efforts of the German government in this area. With the Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative (DAFI), Germany is currently supporting 703 Syrian scholarship students in pursuing their Higher Education in Jordan.

The Country Director of GIZ, Dr. Michaela Baur, stated that also the German universities were quite overwhelmed with the new “target group” of refugee students and it was a