Social Work School Leads University-wide Project to Promote Educational Advancement of Syrian Refugees

Columbia School of Social Work professors Dr. Nabila El-Bassel and Dr. Neeraj Kaushal recently traveled to Jordan as a preliminary step in setting up a multidisciplinary, University-wide project that seeks to identify the needs of Syrian refugees in the areas of research, education, training and service.

The project, called ASPIRE (Advancing Solutions in Policy, Implementation, Research, and Engagement for Refugees), represents a consortium of senior faculty from a number ofColumbia schools who are working in direct partnership with the Columbia University Global Center in Amman as well as with faculty from the University of Jordan and several universities in Turkey.

Part of ASPIRE’s mission will be to examine the role of higher education institutions in promoting the educational advancement and achievement of refugees. The project also intends to provide research and training opportunities for faculty and students at the University of Jordan in data collection, analysis, and interpretation.

Other organizations and partners include the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Department of Psychiatry, Teachers College, and Columbia Global Centers in Amman, Jordan and Istanbul, Turkey.