Shared Interest (SI)


Access to Higher Education for Syrian Refugee Students and Scholars

Wednesday, May 31
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
LACC, Room 410

The Syrian conflict has resulted in 4.8 million refugees dispersed globally, with over 100,000 eligible for higher education and many who remain without access. Presenters analyze the plight of Syrian students and scholars, explore macro- and micro-level initiatives at work, and identify strategies through which international education communities can promote access.

Learning Objectives:

Jessica E. Magaziner

International Education Knowledge Analyst
World Education Services

Jessica attended Pennsylvania State University and graduated with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in French and Francophone Studies and International Studies along with a minor in Spanish. She completed graduate-level study in International Peace and Conflict Resolution at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania and the European Peace University in Austria. Jessica engaged in international education opportunities in Northern Ireland and Ukraine, as well as a year-long study and cultural immersion program in Montpellier, France. Her work at World Education Services over the past 5 years has allowed her to specialize in education systems from France and Francophone countries, as well as most of Latin America. In addition to being experienced in credential evaluation, she is well-versed in researching education systems and staying up-to-date on current affairs that impact international education. Jessica has written articles for World Education News and Reviews and has presented webinars on current topics in international higher education, including the higher education crisis impacting Syrian refugees.


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Eve Court

Program Advisor, Global Campus Initiatives
University of British Columbia

Eve has diverse experience in international education from both a student and professional perspective. After studying in both Spain and Mexico during her undergrad at Dalhousie University, she completed a joint international Master’s degree in Global Studies from Wroclaw University, Poland, and the University of Vienna, Austria, for which she held the prestigious Erasmus Mundus Scholarship. Her professional experience in international higher education began at Dalhousie University where she worked in the International Centre supporting the exchange program, and went on to Western University where she designed programs and processes that supported the university’s internationalization mandate, with a particular focus on alternative student mobility models and intercultural learning programs. While in her role at Western, she had the opportunity to take up a Fellowship at the Intercultural Communication Institute in Portland, Oregon, working with leading scholars in international and intercultural education. In her current position at the University of British Columbia, she manages the Global Lounge – a space for global and intercultural initiatives, and coordinates and advises for the MasterCard Foundation Scholars program for students coming from Sub-Saharan Africa. Additional to her experience in higher education, her internship at the United Nations Office at Vienna, and her experience facilitating English conversation in francophone classrooms have also informed her professional practice.


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Joyce Pisarello

Senior Program Officer
Scholars at Risk

Joyce Pisarello is a Senior Program Officer at Scholars at Risk (SAR), an international network of institutions and individuals whose mission it is to protect scholars and promote academic freedom. By arranging temporary academic positions at member universities and colleges, Scholars at Risk offers safety to scholars facing grave threats, so scholars’ ideas are not lost and they can keep working until conditions improve and they are able to return to their home countries. Scholars at Risk also provides advisory services for scholars and hosts, campaigns for scholars who are imprisoned or silenced in their home countries, monitoring of attacks on higher education communities worldwide, and leadership in deploying new tools and strategies for promoting academic freedom and improving respect for university values everywhere.


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Lisa Unangst

PhD candidate
Boston College

Lisa Unangst is a research assistant at the Center for International Higher Education and doctoral candidate in the Boston College Higher Education program. Her research interests include access to higher education for immigrant and refugee populations in Germany and the United States, the intersections of cultural capital and educational outcomes, and civil society interventions supporting migrant groups. Lisa worked previously in higher education at Harvard University, Cal State East Bay, and the California Institute of Technology. She earned a master's degree in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and bachelor's degree from Smith College.


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Access to Higher Education for Syrian Refugee Students and Scholars


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