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Johns Hopkins University

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Program Name

Jordan: Geopolitics, International Relations, and the Future of the Middle East


This research aims to explore the underlying reasons of educational access gaps of Syrian students in host communities in Amman, Jordan and the effectiveness of the Government of Jordan and international organizations in addressing these gaps. Through interviews, surveys, and a literature review, the researcher explores current perceptions of educational access, gender-based access gaps, and barriers to education at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels. This research draws on the concepts of supply and demand and cost/benefit analysis to analyze why so many Syrian students do not attend school. The researcher hypothesizes that perceptions of access and barriers diverge as students get older. The study’s significance is related to a growing “Lost Generation” of uneducated Syrian students, which increases risk of exploitation and is believed to pose a security challenge to Jordan. Interviews and surveys were completed with employees of major international organizations working in the education sector in Jordan, research experts focusing on refugee education, Syrian college students, and parents of Syrian students from all educational levels. The findings confirmed the hypothesis in that while policies targeting primary education have generally succeeded in enrolling more Syrian students, policies targeting secondary and university education are generally ineffective at addressing the root cause of the problem, i.e. a lack of advancement to justify educational costs. The researcher concludes that the Ministry of Education and international aid organizations must holistically consider education for refugees utilizing a cost-benefit analysis and focus on creating tangible post-graduation incentives for emphasizing education within families.


Migration Studies | Near and Middle Eastern Studies | Peace and Conflict Studies


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