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European partners together with the European Commission introduced, on 11-12 May, HOPES - the newest initiative offering a direct response to the pressing educational needs of young people affected by the Syrian crisis. HOPES (Higher and Further Education Opportunities and Perspectives for Syrians) aims to provide the necessary educational foundations to empower young Syrians in building their career paths. In a surge to counter forces that could give rise to the emergence of a ‘lost generation’, the DAAD (as project coordinator) British Council, Campus France and EP-Nuffic, have joined forces to provide new ‘HOPES’ for displaced Syrian students in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq, to gain access to higher and further education in these countries.
The project sets out to touch the futures of 42 000 young Syrians through academic counselling and, in a comprehensive approach, will provide language courses as well as short-term study programmes to over 7 500 Syrian student refugees, adjoined by around 300 full scholarships. HOPES is financed through the ‘Madad Fund’ – EU’s Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crises - and backed by a EUR 12 million budget until 2019.
The project was publicly launched at a high level seminar organised by DAAD on 11-12 May in Brussels on the topic ‘Higher Education Support to Refugees’. The event surfaced consensus over the increased need for European level initiatives to integrate the refugee students and for stronger support of the educational dimension and its long-term role in alleviating refugee crises around the globe. The seminar offered a comprehensive approach to higher education opportunities for refugees – addressing both the academic ‘integration into the European higher education system’ and through ‘support of host countries, also combatting root causes of migration through higher education’.
The HOPES project also encompasses two calls for proposals that will fund innovative education offers by local providers, targeting refugees and their host communities. Further, the project will take a facilitator role for advancing stakeholders’ dialogue, helping to coordinate regional actors to cultivate effective relations and practice exchange.
Reaching out to those young Syrian men and women who have had to forcefully interrupt their studies and have been displaced from access to educational opportunities, – HOPES seeks to reinstate a generation of future change makers and leaders, equipped with the knowledge and understanding of the world necessary to re-build their countries post-crises, and enrich the societal and cultural evolution of the European space.Description of HOPES