American Univesity of Beirut

PADILEIA: Partnership for Digital Learning and Increased Access to Higher Education


PADILEIA ​increases the pipeline of Syrian refugee youth towards tertiary education, and enhances their employability through an intensive blended program, and facilitated online courses. 

Executive Summary

Less than 5% of Syrian refugees in Lebanon are enrolled in higher education due to barriers such as (a) disrupted learning, (b) curriculum discrepancies, (c) financial and legal status, (d) prejudice, and (e) inadequate learning environments.

The PADILEIA educational model, aimed at strengthening pipelines to higher education and dignified jobs, provides refugees and vulnerable Lebanese ages 18-35 with a unique, high-value student experience following a two-pronged approach: (1) eight-months blended academic bridge program offering foundational knowledge in English, Math, Science, Humanities, and digital skills; and (2) facilitated online courses in subjects such as Nursing, Entrepreneurship, and Engineering. The curriculum of the foundation certificate has been developed through collaboration between AUB faculty experts, local instructors and King’s College London, and modified yearly based on students’ input and program assessment. Classes are held at the Ghata study hubs in Bekaa, where students also receive ongoing peer support, individual counseling, capacity building in interpersonal skills, and assistance for university and scholarship applications. 

Between 2017 and 2021, over 270 students successfully graduated from the foundation course; 53 were awarded scholarships to higher education institutions in Lebanon and abroad, while more than 700 students enrolled in the online short courses. Of those who participated, 90% recommend the PADILEIA program to their peers. 


​​Consortium Partners

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