Great expectations: African youth from refugee backgrounds and the transition to university

Svetlana King, Laurence Owens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


Engagement in post-compulsory education is a means by which resettled refugees can gain social and economic mobility. Given the importance of education in shaping the futures of both individuals and societies, understanding the challenges facing students from refugee backgrounds and those involved in their education constitutes an important area of research. While such issues have received attention in primary and secondary school contexts, very little research has addressed these issues in higher education. This chapter examines the educational experiences and challenges associated with the transition to university for African youth from refugee backgrounds. It presents the perspectives of educators, social service providers, African students and African community leaders who participated in a qualitative investigation of the education and career pathways of African youth from refugee backgrounds. The chapter invites academics to reflect upon their experiences and challenges in teaching these students and to consider their own professional development needs with a view to better supporting these students. Recommendations are offered in an effort to identify key areas of support for academics and students in higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUniversity pathway programs
Subtitle of host publicationLocal responses within a growing global trend
EditorsCintia Inés Agosti, Eva Bernat
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783319725055
ISBN (Print)9783319725048
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2018


  • Refugee youth
  • Educational challenges
  • Transition
  • African refugees


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