Journal Article

Filling in the Gap: Refugee Returnees Deploy Higher Education Skills to Peacebuilding

Amanda Coffie

in Refugee Survey Quarterly

Published on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Volume 33, issue 4, pages 114-141
Published in print December 2014 | ISSN: 1020-4067
Published online November 2014 | e-ISSN: 1471-695X | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rsq/hdu015
Filling in the Gap: Refugee Returnees Deploy Higher Education Skills to Peacebuilding

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  • Refugee Studies
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An urgently needed resource for peacebuilding is a professional and skilled workforce, however, this is lacking in many post-conflict countries. In this article it is suggested that although fewer refugees in developing countries have access to the level of education required for such professions, countries engaged in peacebuilding can benefit from the returnees with such skills. This study therefore, examines the differences in the levels of higher education of 40 Liberian returnees from Ghana and Guinea and the deployment of their skills towards their integration which have links to the broader peacebuilding agenda of Liberia. While the number of returnees with post-secondary education was generally low, the data indicate that comparatively those from Guinea had limited higher education opportunities to those who were in Ghana. Following from these cases, the article argues that insecurity and non-conducive asylum policies and programmes are the major challenges towards the provision of and refugee access to higher education skills training. Some examples of returnees’ deployment of asylum acquired profession and skills towards peacebuilding are discussed as evidence that the provision of higher education for refugees is not simply a tool for empowering refugees, but also an investment in future peacebuilding.

Keywords: higher education; refugee returnees; peacebuilding; asylum

Journal Article.  13265 words. 

Subjects: Refugee Studies ; Human Rights and Immigration ; International Relations ; Human Geography ; Aid and Relief Programmes

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