The 5 biggest refugee myths: debunked

“It is my favourite city in the whole of Turkey. It is big and busy, and despite being crowded and the travelling I have to do get to university, I still love it.’’Sidra Taleb looks out across the water from the Galata Bridge in Istanbul. The 21-year-old Syrian refugee from Aleppo has been living here since 2014 and is studying dentistry thanks to a Turkiye Burslari scholarship. ; In 2019, Turkey continues to be home to the world’s largest refugee population (around 4 million, including nearly 3.7 million registered Syrian refugees). Refugee students have been awarded full scholarships to study at Turkish universities with UNHCR’s support. These scholarships cover the full duration of academic study towards a degree, provide monthly stipends to cover living expenses, and offer activities where students can meet and create peer support networks. UNHCR works with key actors in the higher education sector including the Higher Education Council and Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB), and convenes a higher education working group that brings together different actors who provide scholarships, disseminate information on higher education opportunities and have support or bridging programmes for students.

Like the majority of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Sidra Taleb lives in an urban area. Image: UNHCR/Diego Ibarra Sanchez

Alexander Court
Marketing Communications Lead, World Economic Forum
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Image: UNHCR

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