Is the Education of Local Children Influenced by Living near a Refugee Camp? Evidence from Host Communities in Rwanda

Ö. Bilgili*, C. Loschmann, S. Fransen, M. Siegel

*Corresponding author for this work

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This article studies the extent to which educational services and schooling outcomes of local children are influenced by the presence of a refugee camp in or near their community. Investigating Congolese refugees in Rwanda and relying on a mixed-method approach, we examine schooling rates and access to school-based feeding programmes in communities closer to and further away from three refugee camps. We conduct cohort analyses to compare the schooling outcomes of Rwandans residing at different distances from each of these camps. Our results highlight that children residing closer to the camps have better schooling outcomes and that locals residing closer to the camps have mostly positive views regarding the effects of refugees on local education. These results contribute to the literature on the effects of refugees on host communities and inform policy debates on how refugees need not be a “burden” if a long-term vision shapes educational investments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-309
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Migration
Issue number4
Early online date2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

JEL classifications

  • o15 - "Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration"


  • LIFE

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