Education is one of the most crucial instruments for refugee youth to remove the disadvantages and enhance their social and structural integration into society. However, the unequal education opportunities concerning the barriers avoid the integration of refugee students into society and make them prone to discrimination. This qualitative descriptive design study aimed at describing the experiences of the subjective perspectives of Syrian refugee students about higher education. The participants were final-year undergraduate Syrian refugee students. Data were collected by conducting in-depth semi-structured face-to-face interviews using a pilot-tested interview guide. The researchers followed a systematic data analysis procedure. The themes were finalized once the researchers had reached a consensus. The responses of the students were subsumed under the following three main themes: (1) Being ‘other’, (2) Hopes vs Realities, and (3) What doesn’t defeat me makes me stronger. The participants reported feeling ignored and worthless due to the biases and assumptions of society, which result in stigma and discrimination. Additionally, refugee students revealed that their peers and even educators may sometimes share the same beliefs. However, the study also underlined the value of resilience in shaping the perspectives, even though they faced many challenging experiences.

DOI: 10.1080/13548506.2023.2177782
ISSN: 1354-8506