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International Struggle: How Higher Education is Broken But Desperately Needed

“Higher education is an incredibly important alternative to more negative outcomes: crime, radicalization, and early marriage for young women. Education can provide a pathway to integration within the country and durable solutions for Turkey and Syria.”

-Ali King, The Atlantic


On October 12, 2016, The Atlantic reported that there are more than 30,000 university-age Syrian refugees in Turkey, the majority of which have been left with no choice but to discontinue their educations. In a time where education is such a valuable commodity, and so needed, many countries are struggling to stay afloat.

For instance, in India, higher education is crumbling. Universities label numerous classrooms as “labs,” but with hardly any equipment. Many graduates (approximately 95% of graduates) are deemed unemployable. Efforts are being made to transform these institutions, but to no avail. The post-genocide world in Rwanda has seen many changes, but not nearly enough. The quality of education remains a major concern. Can international colleges and universities rebuild without international assistance?

Introduction | Meghan Keates

At a Glance:

  • There are more than 30,000 university-age Syrian refugees in Turkey, the vast majority of which have had to      discontinue their educations
  • While education in Rwanda has drastically changed, the quality of education remains a big concern
  • Proposition 58 can repeal English-only instruction in Californian public schools
  • Only 18.43% of engineer graduates are employable in India, just 5% of graduates in other disciplines are      employable

Around the Globe:

Syrian Refugees in Turkey

The Shattered Pieces of a War-Torn Education

Dominique Bonessi | The Atlantic

ISTANBUL—In the middle of a crowded flea market bustling with shoppers and aromas of fresh produce and spices, Khaled Al-Asas stands at his booth selling smartphone accessories: selfie sticks, chargers, headphones, and so on. It has been three years since Khaled arrived in Istanbul with his family. They fled from Syria to Yemen, and then to Turkey—the only country that would welcome them and allow them to work.

“Here [in Turkey], it is better,” Khaled said at a café during his Sunday off from work. “It is more similar to Syria than Saudi Arabia and Yemen.”

Back when he was still in Syria, Khaled had almost finished his law degree and only needed two years of an internship at a law firm to fulfill his graduation requirements. At the time, Syrian students graduating with bachelor’s degrees either continued to their master’s or joined the two-year prescribed military service. “I didn’t want to join military service,” Khaled said. “So I left after a year from Syria.”

Khaled started working in textiles when he first arrived in Turkey but wanted a job that would better support him. He thought about joining a university to study English but he needed an income, so at the suggestion of some friends, he started selling phone accessories: “Life here was hard at first … In the end, I feel better now.”

Khaled’s story of disrupted education is the story of more than 30,000 university-age Syrians living in Turkey. And while data on the number of Syrians seeking postsecondary degrees in the country vary significantly—from 600 to 5,600, depending on the source—it’s clear that the vast majority of college-age Syrian refugees have had to discontinue their educations. Of those Syrian students attending universities, the Turkish Disaster, and Management Authority reported in May that 1,080 of them were receiving government financial aid.

To read more visit The Atlantic

Post-Genocide World in Rwanda

Rwanda: Quality Education – Whose Quality, Anyway?

Stephen Mugisha | The New Times

There is no doubt that education in post-Genocide Rwanda has undergone immense changes and transformation for the better.

Some of the significant achievements include; high enrolment rates at all levels, improved infrastructure in schools, the supply of teaching and learning materials to schools, liberalization of the education sector that has resulted in the opening of private learning institutions, and many more landmarks.

However, on the other hand, quality of education in the country remains a big concern to anyone who cares or wishes to see the country leap forward from average to excellence in the development of education.

Some of the present challenges include; low levels of academic performance, high levels of functional illiteracy, growing numbers of unemployable graduates, among others.

To read more visit The New Times

Proposition 58 in the United States

Bilingual education has been absent from California public schools for almost 20 years. But that may soon change

Jazmine Ulloa | The Los Angeles Times

Ricardo Lara was in college when California voters approved a law that required public school students to speak and learn only in English. It was a debate, the now-state-senator remembers, that was tainted with racial undertones.

“There was a lot of shame cast on us,” said Lara (D-Bell Gardens). “There was a clear sentiment that we were somehow different and un-American because we were Spanish speakers.”

For the children of Mexican immigrants such as him, who had gone through bilingual education programs and valued their immersion in two languages and cultures, Lara said it was upsetting.

Now on the Nov. 8 ballot, almost two decades later, is a measure that seeks to overhaul that law. Proposition 58, the product of 2014 legislation written by Lara, would repeal English-only instruction in public schools, giving local parents and teachers the control to develop their own multilingual programs.

To read more visit The Los Angeles Times

Higher Education in India

Higher education has collapsed in India; we just don’t know it yet

K Yatish Yajawat | First Post

The failure of Indian education system is stark when seen in the light of the fact that thousands of students every year go abroad for a college education. European universities and even the European governments seem to have a more definite plan for Indian students than India. A graduate degree in India is mostly a farce in most of the colleges. There is hardly any education imparted, and it is seen as more a stepping stone for a masters or a necessity to do something else. Students file into colleges spend their time on everything but education. Courses are outdated; faculty is inept, illiterate to the changes around them.

A recent experience in Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University really brought all these issues upfront. The outreach cell of the University organized a seminar on globalization. It roped in a public sector company as a sponsor, tied up with a one-man think tank from Chandigarh. Invited to speak I was piqued as it seemed like an interesting effort. It seems only the invitation was genuine. Neither the university nor the organizers were interested in the seminar. All that they were interested in was getting to know a minister. The obsession of the academia in Delhi with politicians is not new. Most faculty appointments are at the behest of the politicians. Huge physical infrastructure but very poor soft infrastructure is not just true of public universities like Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha, but it is even worse in private universities.

To read more visit First Post

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