Somehow Familiar but Still a Stranger: Syrian Students in Turkish Higher Education
- 22 Downloads
The number of Syrian students attending higher education institutions in Turkey in 2016–2017 academic year is nearly 15,000. Mersin is a city in the southern part of Turkey, and the number of registered Syrians in Mersin is around 150,000. With rapid increase in the number of Syrians at education age, research on Syrian youth attending higher education has become significant. Mersin University has the 4th highest number of Syrian students among 182 universities in Turkey. This paper examines individual, environmental, and structural problems experienced by Syrian students attending Mersin University. The paper utilizes the conceptual tools of micro-sociology by analyzing the experiences of both Syrian students and their Turkish classmates. The analysis focuses on whether Syrian students are seen as “strangers” or not, both from their own experiences and from those of Turkish students interacting with them. In this context, in-depth interviews are conducted with 15 Syrian and 8 Turkish students. The narratives of Syrian and Turkish students are analyzed via the themes of avoidance of contact, spatial discrimination, interacting with the unknown, and prejudice. Findings reveal that both groups of students keep a distance from each other; they prefer to be spatially separate at campus and at classrooms. Moreover, Syrian students state that they could communicate more easily if they overcome the problems with their use of Turkish language. The last but not the least, Syrian students are sometimes subjected to different kinds of prejudice, especially about the university entrance process, and also exposed to negative behaviors.
KeywordsSyrian students Higher education policy University students Stranger Prejudice
- Adler, E. S., & Clark, R. (2010). An invitation to social research: How it’s done. USA: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
- Aras, B., & Yasun, S. (2016). The educational opportunities and challenges of Syrian refugee students in Turkey: temporary education centres and beyond. Istanbul: Istanbul Policy Center (IPC)-Sabancı University Retrieved from http://research.sabanciuniv.edu/29697/1/syrianrefugees.pdf.Google Scholar
- Bauman, Z., & May, T. (2001). Thinking sociologically. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
- Bauman, Z. (1993). Postmodern ethics. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
- Bauman, Z. (1995). Life in fragments: essays in postmodern morality. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Bauman, Z. (1998). Modernity and ambivalence. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Bauman, Z. (2010). 44 letters from the liquid modern world. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Carlson, M., Rabo, A., & Gök, F. (2011). Çokkültürlü toplumlarda eğitim: Türkiye ve İsveç’ten örnekler [education in multicultural society: examples from Turkey and Sweden]. İstanbul: İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayınları.Google Scholar
- Çopur, A., & Demirel, M. (2016). Suriyeli mültecilerin yükseköğrenim sorunu: Göç süreci ve sonrası [Higher education problem of syrian refugees: Migration process and post-migration]. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/29089746/SUR%C4%B0YEL%C4%B0_M%C3%9CLTEC%C4%B0LER%C4%B0N_Y%C3%9CKSEK%C3%96%C4%9EREN%C4%B0M_SORUNU_G%C3%96%C3%87_S%C3%9CREC%C4%B0_VE_SONRASI.
- Coser, L. A. (1977). Masters of sociological thought ideas in historical and social context. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.Google Scholar
- Deniz, Ç., Ekinci, Y., & Hülür, B. (2016). Bizim müstakbel hep harap oldu - suriyeli sığınmacıların gündelik hayatı: Antep - kilis çevresi [Our future has always been ruined - the daily life of syrian asylum seekers: Antep – kilis district]. İstanbul: İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayınları.Google Scholar
- Dorman, S. (2014). Educational needs assessment for urban syrian refugees in Turkey. YUVA Association Report. Retrieved from: https://data2.unhcr.org/en/documents/download/42946.
- Duruel, M. (2016). Suriyeli sığınmacıların eğitim sorunu [education problems of Syrian asylum seekers]. Ataturk University Journal of Economics & Administrative Sciences, 30(5), 1399–1414.Google Scholar
- Ekinci, Y., Hülür, B. A., Deniz, Ç. (2017). Yabancı ve marjinal olarak öteki: yerleşik ve yabancı ilişkisi bağlamında suriyeli sığınmacılar [other as stranger and marginal: syrian asylum seekers in terms of the relations between resident-stranger]. Tarih Okulu Dergisi (TOD), Haziran 2017, Yıl 10, Sayı XXX, 365–392.Google Scholar
- Erdoğan, M. M. (2017a). Urban refugees from “detachment” to “harmonization”: Syrian refugees and process management of municipalities: The case of Istanbul. Retrieved from https://mmuraterdogan.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/mmu-urban-refugees-report-2017_en.pdf.
- Erdoğan, M. M. (2017b). Elite Dialogue: Türkiye’deki suriyeli mülteci akademisyen ve üniversite öğrencilerinin durumu, sorunları ve beklentileri araştırma [Elite dialogue: the situation, problems and expectations of Syrian refugee academicians and university students in Turkey]. Ankara: Hacettepe University Center for Migration and Political Research (HUGO). Retrieved from http://fs.hacettepe.edu.tr/hugo/ELITE-DIALOGUE-07082017-TR.pdf.
- Erdoğan, M. M. (2015). Türkiye’de suriyeliler: Toplumsal kabul ve uyum [with the syrians in Turkey: Social acceptance and adaptation survey]. In İstanbul: İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayınları.Google Scholar
- İbicioğlu, H., Taş, S., & Özmen, H. İ. (2010). Üniversite eğitiminin girişimcilik düşüncesinin değişimine etkisi: Üniversite öğrencileri üzerine bir uygulama [effect of the concept of entrepreneurship on university education; a study on university students]. Alanya İşletme Fakültesi Dergisi, 2(1), 53–74. Retrieved from http://kutuphane.dogus.edu.tr/mvt/pdf.php?pdf=0009379&lng=1.
- Jalbout, M. (2015). Partnering for a better future: Ensuring educational opportunity for all Syrian refugee children and youth in Turkey. Published by Theirworld. In A world at school and global business coalition for education. Retrieved from https://gbc-education.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Turkey.pdf.
- Karadag, N. (2016). Yükseköğretimde uluslararasılaşma bağlamında türkiye’de eğitim gören suriyeli öğrenciler üzerine bir araştırma [A research on the Syrian students educated in Turkey in the context of internationalization in higher education]. Turkish Studies, 11(19), 477–490. https://doi.org/10.7827/TurkishStudies.11155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Karadeniz, M., & Paksoy, S. (2016). Kilis’te çalışan suriyeli sığınmacıların sosyo-ekonomik yapısı üzerine bir araştırma [A study on the socio-economic structure of the employees Syrian refugees in Kilis]. Elektronik Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, 15(58), 785–798. https://doi.org/10.17755/Esosder.258818.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Karasu, M. A. (2016). Şanliurfa’da yaşayan suriyeli siğinmacilarin kentle uyum sorunu [integration problem of the Syrian asylum seekers living in the city of Şanlıurfa]. Süleyman Demirel Üniversitesi İktisadi ve İdari Bilimler Fakültesi Dergisi, 21(3), 995–1014 Retrieved from http://dergipark.ulakbim.gov.tr/sduiibfd/article/view/5000200528.Google Scholar
- Kirisci, K. (2014). Syrian refugees and Turkey’s challenges: going beyond hospitality. Washington: Brookings.Google Scholar
- Lindsey, U. (2016). Lifting up Syrian youth ımproving regional access to higher education. Retrieved from: https://p.widencdn.net/ua8ljj/Lifting-Up-Syrian-Youth.
- Matthews, B., & Ross, L. (2010) Research Methods: a practical guide for the social sciences. England: Pearson.Google Scholar
- Riessman, C. K. (2005) Narrative analysis. In K. N. Horrocks, C. Milnes, K. Rooberts, B. David, R. David (Eds.), Narrative, memory and everyday life. Huddersfield: University of Huddersfield, 1–2.Google Scholar
- Seydi, A. R. (2014). Türkiye’nin suriyeli sığınmacıların eğitim sorununun çözümüne yönelik izlediği politikalar [Policies of Turkey regarding the solution of educational problems of Syrian refugees]. SDÜ Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Journal of Social Sciences, 31, 267–305 Retrieved from http://dergipark.gov.tr/download/article-file/117753.Google Scholar
- Sezgin, A. A., & Yolcu, T. (2016). Göç ile gelen uluslararası öğrencilerin sosyal uyum ve toplumsan kabul süreci [Social cohesion and social acceptance process of incoming international students]. International Journal of Social Sciences Humanitas, 4(7), 417–436. https://doi.org/10.20304/husbd.14985.Google Scholar
- Student, R., Kendall, K., & Day, L. (2017). Being a refugee university student: a collaborative auto-ethnography. Journal of Refugee Studies, 30(4), 580–604.Google Scholar
- Turkish Council of Higher Education (2017). Higher education institution statistics [Number of foreign students by nationality 2016–2017]. Retrieved from https://istatistik.yok.gov.tr/.
- Ünal, S. (2017). The new actors of international migration: a comparative analysis of foreign students’ experiences in a medium-sized city in Turkey. In people’s movements in the 21st century - risks, challenges and benefits (pp. 232–257). London: Intech.Google Scholar
- Yeğenoğlu, M. (1995). Sömürge sonrası dünyada göçmen kimliği [Immigrant identity in post-colonial world]. Mürekkep, 95(3–4), 78–82.Google Scholar