Turkey has been the largest refugee host country in Europe since 2011, when it started receiving a massive influx of refugees from neighbouring countries in the Middle East, who were fleeing war and hoping for a better life. Aysuhan Tuba Saral (Aysuhan), from a coastal town in Turkey, has been pursuing her PhD studies at The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) since September 2018, exploring how to help refugees integrate into society through education and skills training.
Aysuhan’s research project focuses on improving the well-being of refugees through the development of generic green skills and equipping them with knowledge of green initiatives to promote the sustainable development of society.
The key, according to Aysuhan, is to strike a balance between economic growth and sustainable development, while creating job opportunities for refugees. She said, “My ultimate goal is to help refugees integrate into, and become contributing members of, their new communities for long-term societal development. I look forward to sharing the knowledge and practices I am acquiring in Asia in my home country.”
The PhD student heard about EdUHK’s leadership in education while taking her master’s degree at Stockholm University. She subsequently applied for the University Grants Committee-funded PhD Fellowship Scheme to continue her research on refugees and generic green skills training until August 2021.
During her high school, undergraduate and postgraduate studies, Aysuhan has travelled to many different places around the world. “I love to enrich my life experience and broaden my horizons,” she said. “That’s why I chose to study abroad in places like Austria, Portugal, Sweden, the US, and now Hong Kong. “Various sharing sessions have been organised for research students at EdUHK, enabling me to explore different areas of interest, including early childhood education and STEM, and learn more about the linkage between policy and sustainable development for my long-term benefit.”