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This is the first book to analyze the important phenomenon of South-South development initiatives. Drawing on critical theories and insights from intersectional analysis, the book examines the experiences and impacts of Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) youth’s participation in South-South higher education programmes designed to maximise “self-sufficiency”. As one of a range of South-South scholarship programmes, the book focuses in particular on Cuba’s scholarship system which has offered a free secondary and tertiary education to over 50,000 students from 120 countries since the 1960s. This case-study is explored through multi-sited and multi-lingual research conducted with MENA citizens and refugees during their studies in Cuba and following their return to their places of origin (including both desert-based and urban refugee camps). The book also features primary research about refugees’ participation in the Libyan and Syrian Pan-Arabist education programme, providing the foundation for a comparative examination of the significance of individual and collective identities in access to South-South scholarship programmes, and the diverse challenges and opportunities arising from participation. In addition to analysing MENA students’ experiences of studying in Cuba, Libya and Syria and of returning to their refugee camp homes and countries of origin, the book critically assesses the impact of diverse policies designed to maximise “self-sufficiency,” and to reduce both “brain drain” and ongoing dependency upon Northern aid providers. It therefore explores the extent to which South-South scholarship systems such as the Cuban programme have challenged the power imbalances which typically characterise North to South development models. This book is a significant resource for students, researchers and practitioners in the areas of migration studies, refugee studies, comparative education, development and humanitarian studies, international relations, and regional studies (Latin America, Middle East, and North Africa).

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