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Rhodes House

Oxford

OX1 3RG

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“There are no Students in Zaatari Camp:” Losing a Generation of Syria’s Best and Brightest and the Challenges of Refugee Higher Education

Since 2013, Keith David Watenpaugh has directed a global project to better understand the problems and opportunities facing refugee university students from the war in Syria. This work has taken him from refugee camps in Jordan, second-shift schools in Lebanon, Syrian ghettos in Istanbul and illegal encampments on the borders of Greece to talk with young people who should be studying to be teachers, nurses, doctors, scientists or lawyer, but instead are struggling to survive in the face of discrimination, xenophobia and a lack of international will to help. Watenpaugh’s efforts have led to a series of influential studies that have shaped international policy on refugee higher education. In this talk Watenpaugh will discuss conditions facing refugee students and measures to reconnect them with higher education opportunities; it will also provide a unique window on the terrible human cost of the war in Syria.


About Keith David Watenpaugh

Professor Keith David Watenpaugh studies the history, theory and practice of human rights and humanitarianism and directs the UC Davis Human Rights Studies Program. Author of the award-winning Bread from Stones: The Middle East and the Making of Modern Humanitarianism (California, 2015) and Being Modern in the Middle East (Princeton, 2006), his articles appear in the American Historical Review, Perspectives on History, Social History, Journal of Human Rights, Humanity, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Chronicle of Higher Education and the Huffington Post. Recipient of fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council, he is immediate past-president of the Syrian Studies Foundation. Since 2013, he has directed a global project supported by the Carnegie Corporation and the Open Society Foundations to address the higher education needs of Syrian refugee university students.



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Oxford

OX1 3RG

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