Skip to main content

Navigating the Terrain of Higher Education

  • 904 Accesses

Abstract

This chapter highlights some of the challenges faced by refugee youth as they negotiate the alien terrain of higher education . Drawing on interviews and case studies of refugee-background youth and university staff (academic and support ), we document the journeys of students through three phases of their tertiary education: getting in to university, getting through their tertiary studies and getting on to employment in their chosen career . We argue that despite high aspirations and a desire to transition to tertiary education, refugee youth at university face a range of challenges in relation to the directed support so necessary for successful transition and participation at university. These challenges are examined in terms of two of the six key themes that emerged in our case study of refugee youth pathways from school to university: aspiration and politics and policy .

Keywords

  • universityUniversity
  • schoolSchool
  • Higher educationEducation
  • participationParticipation
  • Refugee Background Students

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Sections of this chapter are drawn from the Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) Case study report: Supporting school-university pathways for refugee students’ access and participation in tertiary education (Naidoo, Wilkinson, Langat, Adoniou, Cunneen, & Bolger, 2015). These sections have been republished with the permission of the OLT.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-981-13-0420-0_6
  • Chapter length: 22 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   89.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-981-13-0420-0
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Notes

  1. 1.

    All names of participants in these chapters are pseudonyms.

  2. 2.

    In Australia, the term “higher education sector” and “tertiary education sector” are synonymous with universities.

  3. 3.

    The authors note that these figures should be treated with caution due to many records being inaccurate or missing. They note that students were identified on the basis that they had a “permanent humanitarian visa in their citizen/resident indicator data” (Terry et al., 2016, p. 9).

  4. 4.

    This is the term used by Terry et al. (2016) and relates to the sampling of the cohort. See Footnote One above.

  5. 5.

    Support staff is those university staff that are not academics. They are often referred to in Australian universities as professional staff. In our study, they included staff members who were employed in equity units, as well as those who provided academic learning and language support .

References

  • Adler, P. S., & Kwon, S. (2000). Social capital: The good, the bad and the ugly. In E. Lesser (Ed.), Knowledge and social capital: Foundations and applications (pp. 89–115). Boston: Butterworth-Heineman.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Appadurai, A. (1996). Modernity at large: Cultural dimensions of globalization. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Appadurai, A. (2004). The capacity to aspire: Culture and the terms of recognition. In V. Rao & M. Walton (Eds.), Culture and public action (pp. 59–84). Stanford: Stanford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bathmaker, A.-M., Abrahams, J., Hoare, A., Waller, R., & Bradley, H. (2016). Higher education, social class and social mobility: The degree generation. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Batrouney, T., & Stone, W. (1998). Cultural diversity and family exchanges. Family Matters, 51(Spring/Summer), 13–20.

    Google Scholar 

  • Behtoui, A., & Neergaard, A. (2012). Social capital, status and income attainment in the workplace. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 32(1–2), 42–55.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Bowen, A. L. (2014). Life, learning and university: An inquiry into refugee participation in UK higher education (Doctoral thesis). UK: University of the West of England.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bourdieu, P. (1990). The logic of practice. Cambridge: Polity Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bourdieu, P., & Passeron, J. C. (1977). Reproduction in education, society and culture. London: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bracken, P. (1998). Hidden agendas: Deconstructing post-traumatic stress disorder. In P. Bracken & C. Petty (Eds.), Rethinking the trauma of war (pp. 38–59). New York: Free Association Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bradley, D. 2008. Review of Australian higher education. Final report. Canberra: Australian Government. Retrieved from http://www.voced.edu.au/content/ngv%3A32134.

  • Brownlees, L., & Finch, N. (2010). Levelling the playing field. A UNICEF UK report into provision of services to unaccompanied or separated migrant children in three local authority areas in England. UNICEF. Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Publications/levelling-playing-field.pdf.

  • Christie, P., & Sidhu, R. (2002). Responding to globalisation: Refugees and the challenges facing Australian schools. MOTS Pluriels, 21 (May). Retrieved from http://www.arts.uwa.edu.au/MotsPluriels/MP2102pcrs.html.

  • Dimopoulos, M., & Prattis, G. (2015). Background planning for the development of National Settlement Service Standards Report. Melbourne: Settlement Council of Australia.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dryden-Peterson, S. (2012). The politics of higher education for refugees in a global movement for higher education. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 27(2), 10–18. Retrieved from http://projects.iq.harvard.edu/files/wcfia/files/34718-36555-1-pb.pdf.

  • El-Gack, N., & Yak, G. (2016). A degree doesn’t count for South Sudanese job seekers. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/a-degree-doesnt-count-for-south-sudanese-job-seekers.

  • Fraser, N. (2001). Recognition without ethics? Theory, Culture & Society Sage, 18(2–3), 21–42.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Gately, D. E. (2013). A policy of vulnerability of agency? Refugee young people’s opportunities in accessing further and higher education in the UK. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education. Retrieved from http://hdl.voced.edu.au/10707/287878.

  • Gateley, D. E. (2015). A policy of vulnerability or agency? Refugee young people’s opportunities in accessing further and higher education in the UK. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 45(1), 26–46. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2013.841030.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Giroux, H. (1997). Rewriting the discourse of racial identity: Towards a pedagogy and politics of whiteness. Harvard Educational Review, 67(2), 285–320.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Harris, V., & Marlowe, J. (2011). Hard yards and high hopes: The educational challenges of African refugee university students. Australia International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 23(2), 186–196.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hatoss, A., O’Neill, S., & Eacersall, D. (2012). Career choices: Linguistic and educational socialisation of Sudanese-background high-school students in Australia. Linguistics and Education, 23, 16–30.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Hauck, F., Lo, E., Maxwell, A., & Preston Reynolds, P. (2014). Factors influencing the acculturation of Burmese, Bhutanese and Iraqi refugees into American society: Cross-cultural comparisons. Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, 12(3), 331–352.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Hirano, E. (2014). Refugees in first-year college: Academic writing challenges and resources. Journal of Second Language Writing, 23, 37–52.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Keddie, A. (2012). Refugee education and justice issues of representation, redistribution and recognition. Cambridge Journal of Education, 42(2), 197–212.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kemmis, S., Wilkinson, J., Edwards-Groves, C., Hardy, I., Grootenboer, P., & Bristol, L. (2014). Changing practices, changing education. Singapore: Springer.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kenny, P., & Lockwood-Kenny, K. (2011). A mixed blessing: Thiri resettlement to the United States. Journal of Refugee Studies, 24, 217–238.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Morrice, L. (2009). Journeys into higher education: The case of refugees in the UK. Teaching in Higher Education, 14(6), 661–672.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Naidoo, L. (2009). Engaging the refugee community of Greater Western Sydney. Issues in Educational Research, 20(1), 47–56. Retrieved from http://www.iier.org.au/iier20/naidoo.html.

  • Naidoo, L., Wilkinson, J., Langat, K., Adoniou, M., Cunneen, R., & Bolger, D. (2015). Case study report: Supporting school-university pathways for refugee students’ access and participation in tertiary education. Kingswood: University of Western Sydney. ISBN 978-1-74108-333-0 (Print); ISBN 978-1-74108-334-7 (e-book).

    Google Scholar 

  • Naidoo, L., Wilkinson, J., Cunneen, R., Adoniou, M., & Langat, K. (forthcoming). School to university transitions for Australian children of refugee background: A complex journey. In M. Pavlova, J. Lee, & R. Maclean (Eds.), Transition to post-school life: School responsiveness to individual, social and economic needs. Singapore: Springer International.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pohlers, A. K. (2016). Germany: 3.5 billion Euros required to educate refugees. Retrieved from https://thepienews.com/news/germany-e3-5bn-needed-to-educate-refugees/.

  • Schuller, T., Baron, S., & Field, J. (2000). Social capital: A review and critique. In S. Baron, J. Field, & T. Schuller (Eds.), Social capital (pp. 1–38). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Seck, M. M. (2015). Female West African Immigrants in the United States: Challenges and empowering strategies. Social Development Issues, 37(2), 68–79.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sellar, S., & Gale, T. (2011). Mobility, aspiration, voice: A new structure of feeling for student equity in education. Critical Studies in Education, 52(2), 115–134.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Shakya, Y. B., Guruge, S., Hynie, M., Akbari, A., Malik, M., Htoo, S., … Alley, S. (2010). Aspirations for higher education among newcomer refugee youth in Toronto: Expectations, challenges, and strategies. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 27(2), 65–77.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sidhu, R., & Christie, P. (2007). Spatialising the scholarly imagination: Globalisation, refugees and education. Transnational Curriculum Inquiry, 4(1). Retrieved from http://nitinat/library/ubc/ca/ojs/index.php/tci.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sidhu, R., & Taylor, S. (2007). Educational provision for refugee youth in Australia: Left to chance? Journal of Sociology, 43(3), 283–300.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Summerfield, D. (2001). Asylum-seekers, refugees and mental health services in the UK. Psychiatric Bulletin, 25(5), 161–163.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Taylor, S. (2008). Schooling and the settlement of refugee young people in Queensland: The challenges are massive. Social Alternatives, 27(3), 58–65.

    Google Scholar 

  • Terry, L., Naylor, R., Nguyen, N., & Rizzo, A. (2016). Not there yet: An investigation into the access and participation of students from humanitarian refugee backgrounds in the Australian higher education system. Retrieved from https://www.ncsehe.edu.au/publications/an-investigation-into-the-participation-of-students-of-refugee-backgrounds-in-the-australian-higher-education-system/.

  • United Nations High Commision Refugees [UNHCR] (2015). Left behind: Refugee Education in Crisis. http://www.unhcr.org/left-behind/

  • Walker, K. (2002). Is it easy being green? Sociology and the environment. In J. Allen (Ed.), Sociology of education: Possibilities and practices (pp. 335–342). Katoomba: Social Science Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wilkinson, J., Santoro, N., & Major, J. (2017). Sudanese refugee youth and educational success: The role of church and youth group in supporting cultural and academic adjustment and schooling achievement. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 60, 210–219. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2017.04.003.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Wolfman, B. R. (1997). Light as from a beacon: African American women administrators in the Academy. In L. Benjamin (Ed.), Black women in the academy: Promises and perils (pp. 155–175). Florida: University Press of Florida.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Loshini Naidoo .

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2018 Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Naidoo, L., Wilkinson, J., Adoniou, M., Langat, K. (2018). Navigating the Terrain of Higher Education. In: Refugee Background Students Transitioning Into Higher Education. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-0420-0_6

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-0420-0_6

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Singapore

  • Print ISBN: 978-981-13-0419-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-981-13-0420-0

  • eBook Packages: EducationEducation (R0)