Colloque : “New Visions for Refugee Education in the Middle East” — Beyrouth, Liban, 14-15/03/2014

The Centre for Lebanese Studies (CLS) in collaboration with UNESCO, are pleased to invite you to participate in the its forthcoming conference on “New Visions for Refugee Education in the Middle East”. This event aims to bring together practitioners, researchers, funders, and policymakers from national, regional and international NGOs, UN agencies, government agencies, Ministries of Education, teachers unions, and academic institutions to present and discuss their research or work on  education of the refugees.

The issue of education for refugees in the Middle East is of particular importance due to the turbulent political situation in the region. The escalating situation in Syria, for example, is likely to increase the intensity of the refugee crisis which has many dimensions, including shelter, health, jobs and education.

The education of the refugees in emergency or protracted situations, is a challenging task for many of the hosting countries which often struggle to provide the urgent and basic needs of shelter, food and health. Access to education is often the priority of most hosting countries. Yet, striking a balance between the need to integrate the refugees in the host country’s schools and universities whilst at the same time maintaining their specific culture, identity and language in the education process has often proven to be quite a difficult task and an issue that is often overlooked.  Two main approaches to the education of refugees are often observed. The first is focused on their social, urban and economic integration, whilst the second considers them as temporary guests in a state of emergency who would return back shortly to their home countries. In the latter case, the education provisions often overlook the socio-economic outcomes and effects for the refugees on the job market.

This conference seeks to highlight the current debates around the education of refugees and present examples of different approaches and propositions to integration and access to quality education, with a comparative perspective from some relevant cases worldwide. The aim of the conference is to exchange research findings and expertise in order to better understand the complex and multi-faceted experiences of forcibly displaced persons from the perspective of the researchers, communities, government, and NGOs to develop a more integrated, collaborative durable solutions as far as education is concerned.


The objectives of the conference are the following:

a)      Reviewing relevant innovative policy, research, practice, funding and programmatic approaches to determine how the education of refugees can be met at scale;

b)      Enhancing knowledge and capacity at the regional and national levels in order to support the education of the refugees;

c)      Strengthening coordination and dialogue between relevant actors on strategies and programs needed to ensure quality and improve service delivery of education;

d)     Developing targeted intervention recommendations and advocacy strategies to significantly improve the education of refugees.


Proposals are welcome on a wide range of topics, including but not limited to:

  • Provisions of access and quality of education for emergency and protracted refugees.
  • Issues and approaches in refugee education
  • National education policy and practices for formal, vocational education
  • The role of NGOs and international organizations
  • Curriculum:  potentials and challenges
  • Psychosocial support for refugee children and adolescents: Identification, prevention and intervention.
  • Education employability and labor policies
  • Capacity building for principals, teachers and parents to address the needs of refugee children.
  • The effect of emergency on children and students
  • The certification and equivalency of educational systems including higher education.


We are keen to explore these themes from different perspectives including those of theoreticians, policy makers, and practitioners in the private, public and NGO sectors. Hence, we welcome historical, theoretical, empirical and practitioners’ perspectives on any of the above themes from all around the globe.

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