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OU and British Council ensure Syria’s refugees don’t leave education behind

Classes set up by The Open University and The British Council are helping displaced Syrian refugees continue with their studies and develop new skills which will help with their resettlement.

Around 3,000 Syrians and disadvantaged Jordanian students are accessing English, French and German lessons in Jordan and Lebanon and 300 of the highest achievers can progress to OU accredited online degree courses. At least 400 students who have completed a language course will also be able to continue learning on the OU’s social learning platform FutureLearn. These short courses, whilst not accredited, will help develop skills and knowledge to assist refugees in earning a living or finding a job when they return to Syria.

Since the crisis in Syria began over four years ago, many young people have been forced to abandon their education. The project runs for three years and focuses on higher education as many other international organisations have, to date, focused on providing primary and secondary education for refugees.

Steve Hill, OU Commercial Director, said: “The number of young Syrian people excluded from higher education is enormous. This is a much-needed project which will ultimately help rebuild Syria after the conflict ends by giving young people a way to get back into education and the workplace.”

In Jordan, Syrian refugees represent an almost 10 per cent increase in the population of six million. In Lebanon this figure is 20 per cent – in both countries this has placed a great strain on already scarce resources.


About Author

Kath works in the Media Relations team within the Communications Unit at The Open University. She is a skilled communicator with more than 15 years’ experience working in both the public and private sectors. She has a BA (Hons) English and American Literature from University of Warwick and specialises in stories from the Faculty of Social Science, Faculty of Education and Language Studies, BBC programmes, and student stories. In her spare time Kath enjoys touring the country in her hand-painted camper van, Trevor.

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