Syrian refugee students’ sense of school belonging and educational aspirations

Nigar Mammadova, Ahmet Aypay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated the Syrian refugee students’ sense of school belonging and educational aspirations in Türkiye. The study used a mixed methodology. The sample consisted of 318 Syrian students in middle (grades 5–8) and high schools (grades 9–12) in a metropolitan municipality located in a large city in central Anatolia in the fall of the 2021–2022 academic year. The quantitative data was collected with the Sense of School Belonging Scale. Descriptive statistics, correlation, regression, and factor analysis were used to analyze the quantitative data. The qualitative phase involved semi-structured interviews with 15 voluntary students through an interview form with open-ended questions, and content analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data. The results indicated that students’ perceptions sense of school belonging was at a medium level. Student perceptions of their sense of school belonging differed based on student gender, duration of stay, and the schools in which they were enrolled. A sense of belonging was important for students in certain schools. Students’ educational aspirations were related to family socioeconomic status, social alienation, school acceptance, parental education, and the gender of the students. The paper concluded by suggesting that targeted policies are required for the improvement of the sense of belonging of Syrian refugee students.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102876
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Development
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • Educational aspirations
  • Feelings of rejection
  • Sense of school belonging
  • Syrian refugee students
  • Teacher-student relationship
  • Turkey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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