Afrazeh, Aida


Organization: Jesuit Refugee Services
Location: Ahmad, Jordan
Year: 2016

MRP/Thesis abstract:

Spirit and Body, Heart and Soul: Exploring Student Narratives through Higher Education in Exile

Refugee higher education, as a subset of the larger education in emergencies field, has been rapidly growing since the 2000s. However, a deeper exploration of student experiences is needed to critically understand the potentially transformative aspects of higher education. Responding to this gap, this research draws on fieldwork data collected in Amman, Jordan in summer 2016. It aims to interrogate how higher education can open avenues for alternative narratives for refugee students. The uptake of higher education by refugees challenges discursively limiting representations by giving students an avenue through which they can connect to their own pasts and futures, while also transforming their present lived experiences. A feminist lens is used to draw attention to the racialized and gendered differences among students’ experiences. By re-centering discussions of refugee higher education around students themselves, this research is intended to help better align development praxis to flow from this crucial starting point.