Building Futures: Aspirations of Syrian Youth Refugees and Host Population Responses in Lebanon, Greece & the UK

This project was designed to offer an in-depth and innovative comparative study of the experiences, skills and aspirations of young Syrian refugees, who have been forcibly displaced by the conflict in their home country, and the corresponding attitudes and belief structures of the host population in three receiving states: Lebanon, Greece and the United Kingdom (UK). Through surveys and interviews, this study allowed us to formulate policy recommendations to meet the training and skills needs of young migrants, with a view to facilitating either reintegration in Syria or integration in their host nations. It also gave guidance on how such policy can be framed and advocated so as to build consensus and cross-community understanding in a context of strained public resources and anti-immigration sentiment.

PI and Co-Is


Dr Georgios Karyotis - (University of Glasgow, School of Social & Political Sciences)



Dr Lesley Doyle - (University of Glasgow, School of Education)

Dr Ben Colburn - (University of Glasgow, School of Humanities)

Dr Kristinn Hermannsson - (University of Glasgow, School of Education)

Dr Gareth Mulvern - (University of Glasgow, School of Social and Political Science)

Start and End Date

1 November 2016 - 1 September 2018

Funder and Funding Amount

Arts and Humanities Research Council

Economic and Social Research Council

Global Challenges Research Fund


Project News

Team members have presented the findings at academic conferences (eg Lesley presented at the Journal of Vocational Education conference and Kristinn presented in a special session on refugee migration at the annual congress of the European Regional Science Association in September 2018) a range of publications are in preparation, and engagement activities have been underway as planned.

A moving photographic exhibition of the project with an interactive presentation of findings was held in Glasgow in April at the Lighthouse. It was so well-attended we were asked to extend it by several days. The exhibition showcased our research findings in the context of documentary photographs, soundscapes and documentary films sourced from our project partners in Greece (Solidarity Now).  This was picked up by the media, for instance STV and the Evening Times:

A workshop to engage with members of our Advisory Group, together with academics and organisations whom we could rely on to be strong critical friends was held just prior to the exhibition and this proved to be extremely helpful in identifying how best to present our findings to practitioners and policy makers, as well as to policy makers.

In June a very successful Symposium was held at the Scottish Parliament. This was another significant impact event attended by Scottish policy makers, practitioners in the refugee field as well as refugees, along with eminent academics in the field. A similar event is planned for the UK Parliament. Moreover we have been granted a small amount of additional funding from the Impact Acceleration Account, which will be used to host a dissemination workshop in the autumn, after the formal end of the project.

We have produced of a Policy Report on the Syrian Refugee findings, which was recently launched by Policy Scotland: . A separate Policy Report will be produced on the home population findings and will be launched in a workshop jointly organised with the think tank Policy Exchange in early 2019.

Associated Websites