CfP: Between Camp and Campus: Mapping the Field of Higher Education in Refugee Protection

Between Camp and Campus: Mapping the Field of Higher Education in Refugee Protection

Panel Description:

The role of higher education in refugee protection is highly contested. On the one hand, access to higher education is promoted as a tool for refugee protection and integration, and as a way for refugee students and their families to become self-sustained. Higher education is understood to be important both for the long-term future of individual refugees and for the societies in which they live. Various actors, including universities and policymakers, have therefore expressed their commitment to increase participation of asylum seekers and refugees in higher education. On the other hand, tertiary education continues to be neglected as priority is given to the provision of basic education in situations of emergency. Partly because their numbers are often not systematically recorded, it is hard to determine what kind of support students with a refugee background may require. In their attempts to access higher education, however, asylum seekers and refugees regularly experience forms of exclusion linked to numerous obstacles, such as language and bureaucratic barriers. As a result, globally less than one percent of youth who become a refugee due to conflict have access to tertiary education. This panel brings together researchers, practitioners and refugee students in order to spur a debate about the often divergent strategies, priorities and practices of actors involved in the provision of higher education for forced migrants. In this way, we seek to outline a research agenda for an under-researched field in studies of forced migration with a view to understanding the role of higher education in refugee protection.

Deadline for Submission:

Please, submit your paper proposal, including your name, institutional affiliation, abstract (max. 250 words) and title by September 3, 2017 to

Please, note that we cannot provide any financial support towards conference fees or travel costs.

Panel Organisers:

Andrea Kölbel, DPhil, is a Research Associate in human geography at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. Her research interests include social (im)mobility, young people’s lives, international and forced migration, and participative methods. Before joining the Freie Universität Berlin in 2015, Andrea completed her doctorate at the University of Oxford. Based on extensive research conducted with university students in Nepal, she has written about the changing nature of higher education and geographies of youth. Andrea also draws from her experiences as an education expert working for the UN Refugee Agency in countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

Eveliina Lyytinen, DPhil, is a Senior Researcher at the Migration Institute of Finland (MIF) with an educational background in human geography and refugee studies. Eveliina completed her doctorate at the University of Oxford (School of Geography, in association with the Refugee Studies Centre) in 2014. Her thesis interrogated the notions of protection, space and trust in the context of urban refugees in Kampala, Uganda. Currently, Eveliina conducts qualitative research on young refugees’ education and employment in Finland as part of a larger Nordic research project Coming of Age in Exile (CAGE).

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