Investing in education brings forth benefits to the nation as well as to the individual by yielding high socio-economic returns. Research reinforces the close association of more schooling with higher individual earnings and improved social welfare. The education sector within a nation state is seen as the platform for raising the skill level of workers which ultimately leads to higher economic productivity. Education also enables individuals to become competent and responsible citizens.
This is achieved by giving them an opportunity to acquire an understanding of the values they hold, an appreciation of what they mean to life, and better equips them with the knowledge and skills needed to make better decisions that would impact their lives. Therefore, investing in education has significant social benefits as much as it has economic returns to the individual and the society. It affects human well-being not only in directly increasing human qualities and skills for economic production and market exchange, but also in enlarging individual opportunity sets by giving people new possibilities to enrich their lives. The importance of education, at all its levels, is clearly reflected in the post 2015 sustainable development agenda, which emphasizes lifelong learning beyond the traditional school.
Given the significant role of education in society and the key role of youth in development, the Education and Youth Research Program (EYRP) is well positioned to address issues of youth and education in the Arab world with the aim of informing policy for improved education achievement and for addressing youth issues as they relate to education and employment.
The program focuses on projects that aim at benefiting the individual and the society through advancing fundamental concepts while tackling practical problems embedded in real-world settings, as well as informing educational policy and promoting improved educational practices and achievement through an increased understanding of the issues of education in the Arab world and their impact on children and youth in the region.
The program aims at actively engaging with educators, practitioners, youth and policymakers who can have a direct impact on making a difference in the lives of children and youth through education.
The program will serve as a resource for government agencies and other institutions in order to shape the education and youth policy debate through evidence.
The mission of the Education and Youth Program will be accomplished by:
- Collaborating with AUB faculty members on policy-relevant research;
- Producing and disseminating original research;
- Providing the tools and resources to utilize research for informed policy-making and improved practice;
- Working in collaboration with institutions of common focus.
The program focuses on three themes: primary and basic education, tertiary education, and youth and employment. The program has already embarked on a number of research studies that are well-grounded in practice to address emergent issues within these three themes. More recently, the program began to address issues related to the economics of education as well as issues pertaining to education in emergencies beyond forced migration.
The EYRP has been key in informing both practice and policy on education and higher education in emergencies, working closely with organizations such as UNHCR and the EU. The program has also been instrumental in guiding the Ministry of Education and Higher Education’s vision on addressing issues related to the education of refugees. Most recently, the program advice was sought on developing a draft law in Lebanon for online learning as well as providing an overview on assessment in times of emergencies due to COVID19 to the Regional Center on Education Planning for UNESCO. Such collaborations continue to highlight the leading role of the program in providing policy insights and advice on key higher education issues.