HOPES-LEB is short Higher and Further Education Opportunities and Perspectives for Syrians and vulnerable youth in Lebanon. It is an €8.4 million project funded by the European Union.
The funds are provided through the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis (the ‘EU Madad Fund’). The project is implemented by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Campus France and Nuffic. It builds on the success of the regional HOPES project that ran between 2016 and 2020.
Goals of the project
HOPES-LEB aims to improve livelihood prospects for vulnerable Lebanese youth and refugees from Syria in Lebanon, to increase their chances for a better future. It does this by providing higher and further education opportunities.
The project follows a comprehensive approach covering the entire educational pathway, from preparation for and completion of higher education and subsequent study, to access to the labour market.
- provides academic scholarships and counselling;
- offers funding for innovative short-term education projects;
- initiates stakeholder dialogues;
- is developing the EU Madad Fund’s regional alumni network.
Due to the conflict in Syria, more than 7 million Syrians have been displaced internally and 5 million have fled the country, finding refuge in neighbouring countries. Lebanon is considered the country in the world with the highest per capita ratio of refugees from Syria, with approximately 1 million registered individuals.
As a result of the prolonged crisis and local political and economic difficulties, the higher education system in Lebanon has been heavily affected. Currently, only 6% of the Syrian youth in Lebanon between the ages of 18 and 30 are enrolled at Lebanese higher education institutions.
Vulnerable Lebanese also suffer from the difficult economic, social and political situation in Lebanon. This situation has worsened over the last 5 years and more recently due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the Beirut explosion. According to the National Poverty Targeting Programme, Lebanese vulnerability has increased from 20% to 50 %.
The HOPES-LEB project has 3 specific aims. It wants to ensure that:
- refugees from Syria in Lebanon and vulnerable Lebanese benefit from quality higher education, to increase their theoretical knowledge, practical skills and 'transversal' competencies;
- refugees from Syria in Lebanon and vulnerable Lebanese in Lebanon have better employability prospects;
- higher education institutions and other local institutions in Lebanon and the region provide better support to Syrian students and vulnerable youth in higher education, as well as to alumni.
Nuffic’s role: Calls for Proposals
Nuffic will coordinate the “Funding for Training and Capacity Building” Call for Proposals component of the project. This involves:
- defining the topics;
- setting up the Call for Proposals;
- selecting relevant projects;
- monitoring and evaluating the projects;
- financial management.
Organisations registered in Lebanon are invited to submit tailor-made project proposals that address the specific needs of vulnerable Lebanese youth and refugees from Syria. The projects should alleviate bottlenecks in accessing and completing higher and further education. They should also address labour market integration.
The focus will be on developing institutional capacity to support students in completing their education, preventing drop-out and better preparing them for the labour market. This includes local, regional and international opportunities.
Projects are expected to address the following 3 priority areas:
- access to higher and further education;
- completion of higher and further education;
- access to the labour market.
The projects can either follow an approach that addresses all 3 priority areas or focus on 1 or more aspects of a specific priority area.