Project Description

DAAD Higher Education Dialogue with the Muslim World

Intercultural and academic exchange between Germany, Jordan and Lebanon

Within the German Academic Exchange Service’s (DAAD) funding programme “Higher Education Dialogue with the Muslim World”, the Faculty of Applied Social Sciences’ (FAS) project provides a sustainable platform for intercultural and academic exchange between Germany, Jordan, and Lebanon. For this, FHWS collaborates with the German Jordanian University Amman (Jordan), the Yarmouk University Irbid (Jordan) and the Lebanese University Beirut (Lebanon). The refugee issue is the common basis for the cultural and professional exchange. Jordan and Lebanon received a high number of Palestinian refugees and Germany, too, has a long history of migration. Global refugee movements, their causes and effects, are dominating the political and social discourse as well as media reporting to an unprecedented extent. In 2015 and 2016, Germany received over 1.2 million applications for asylum. Over the last years, Jordan and Lebanon, however, have received the worldwide highest number of Syrian refugees, measured by their population. This poses a substantial social, political, and socio-economic challenge to the countries participating in this project. In addition, current European migration management strategies lead to a shift of borders or border controls and the refugee regime towards transit countries. From a social work perspective, the project will initiate an international dialogue about the impact of current migration policy on protecting of and caring for refugees, the situation in Arabic transit countries as well as the linking of those countries and the EU target states. In the project years 2019 and 2020, the "Sustainable Development Goals" (SDGs) of the United Nations will serve as conceptual framework for the analysis of the topic. One reason to examine the SDGs in the context of flight and migration is to exchange views on the significance and relevance of this global agreement for the sustainable development of our world and a profiled social work in this field of action.

The project will promote the advancing of junior academics by actively involving three students per participating University into the project team. FHWS’s student project team members study International Social Work with Refugees and Migrants (M.A.), Jordan students study Social Work and Migration (M.A.) at GJU or Sociology and Social Work (B.A./M.A.) at Yarmouk University; Lebanese students study Social Work (M.A.) at the Lebanese University. Per university, one professor and one scientific assistant will provide the dialogue with conceptual, specialist, and organisational support and supervision. In their countries, participants will take the focus topic as a starting point to develop sub-topics which take into consideration national peculiarities. These sub-topics will be thoroughly researched in scientific papers and, during the mobility, discussed with fellow researchers, during meetings and workshops with other students/lecturers, institutions, and civil society. In order to stimulate a dialogue beyond professional exchange, the events, which take place alternately in Lebanon, Jordan and Germany, attach importance to dealing with the history and society of the respective country as well as its cultural and religious imprint. Visiting places of religious, cultural, and social symbolic importance initiates personal exchange about culture and religion, shared features and differences, opportunities and risks.

In 2019/2020, two international summer schools will take place as part of the project (2019 in Jordan, 2020 in Lebanon). The summer schools will be an opportunity for professional and intercultural exchange on "International Social Work and Migration" as well as a mutual learning experience for other social work students of FHWS, GJU, Yarmouk University and Lebanese University.