Skip to main content

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions

grandi5_K M AsadLightRocket via Getty Images_refugee education K.M. Asad/LightRocket via Getty Images

Closing the Refugee Education Gap

Over the past year, the share of young refugees enrolled in school has ticked up, with relatively pronounced improvements at the higher-education level. But unless refugee enrollment at the secondary level rises significantly, the pathway to success will remain blocked for far too many students.

GENEVA – Nowadays, making an investment – whether in shares, bonds, property, gold, lottery tickets, or the latest startup – is quick and easy. But when it comes to investments in people, the dividends are not always as clear, nor is the means by which one can measure the returns.

One might be doubly wary of investing in people who have been uprooted from their homes, stripped of their livelihoods and possessions, possibly separated from their families, and forced to start all over again. But, in fact, refugees are one of the best investments out there. Educating those who have been displaced by conflict and upheaval is not an expense, but a golden opportunity.

For most people in advanced economies, education is how one feeds one’s curiosity, discovers one’s passions, and learns to look after oneself, navigating the worlds of work and civic and social life. For refugees, education performs the same functions, but also does much more. It is the surest road to recovering a sense of purpose and dignity after the trauma of displacement. It also is – or at least should be – a route to economic self-sufficiency. At a time when governments are wasting trillions of dollars on conflict, investing in those who have been forcibly displaced is a no-brainer.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

https://prosyn.org/8PQepUn;
  1. leonard52_Frank Augstein - WPA PoolGetty Images_borisjohnsonthumbsup Frank Augstein/WPA/Pool/Getty Images

    The End of the EU’s Brexit Bounce

    Mark Leonard

    After years of watching the United Kingdom muddle through a political crisis while enjoying an unprecedented level of unity among themselves, Europeans now must prepare for darker days. Negotiations over the future UK-EU relationship will inevitably divide Europeans and offer fodder to Euroskeptics.

    1

Edit Newsletter Preferences