As 2016 comes to a close and we take stock of the global landscape of attacks on education, it is clear that the year has held both progress and challenges.

Ahead of the third year anniversary of the Pakistani Taliban’s shooting of schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai in a violent reaction to her commitment to girls’ education, GCPEA convened a workshop in Istanbul, Turkey.

As classrooms opened for another season of learning this year, far too many students and teachers in conflict-affected areas returned to school filled with dread and fear of possible attack, instead of anticipation and excitement for the coming term.

At GCPEA, as the New Year begins, we are focusing on an issue that has received little public attention: attacks on higher education facilities and personnel.

Tomorrow is Malala Yousafzai’s 16th birthday. The Pakistani school girl was shot by the Taliban last October for demanding education for girls. Malala’s story is not an isolated one. Students and teachers across our globe are intimidated and harassed, injured, raped, and even killed. Schools are burned, bombed, and destroyed.