Borderless Higher Education for Refugees

Borderless Higher Education for Refugees

September 2, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


Borderless Higher Eduction for Refugees or BHER is an international consortium of universities a non-governmental
organizations. We’re working together to provide
post-secondary opportunities to people living in protracted refugee situations. We do this by offering University credit
courses on-site and online through other technologically
enhanced distance learning formats then enable students to earn
certificates diplomas and degrees in a variety of fields including health, education, business,
science public administration a community
development. These courses meet international standards on offer to the
joint efforts with partner organizations including the faculty of educational at York. All offerings are stackable allowing
students to earn certificates or diplomas at each level of study incrementally building towards earning
degrees. There are currently more than 15 million people caught in refugee
situations, often ten years or more as a outcome of war or human rights violations and or persecution in their home
countries. For people in refugee camps success in
primary basic education is a major challenge. Participation rates and secondary
education are very low, especially for women and post-secondary
opportunities are virtually nonexistent. Refugees who have completed secondary
school almost irreversibly wasted desire to attend university. International scholarships schools in
the Global North remain the only opportunity to pursue higher education. Yet the scholarships are few and benefit
only about one percent of those who qualify to attend college or university. In the Dadaab
region of Kenya for example one of the BHER project sites there
are over 500,000 people living in six camps. Many of them have been there for 20
years or more, most are under the age of 25 education within the camps is limited to
primary basic and sometimes secondary school. Class sizes are immense and learning materials are scarce. Most teachers a recent secondary school
graduates themselves with no particular preparation to teach. To redress the situation in the Dadaab BHER partnership are setting up a project that aims to improve the gender
equitable delivery of education in refugee camps and adjacent local communities to
university teacher education opportunities which will prepare a new
generation of teachers, create continuing opportunities for
young men and women in university programs that will enhance their
employability both locally and internationally. To portable certificates diplomas and
degrees and support Kenyan academic institutions that are already offering
on-site, online university degree programs to
vulnerable and marginalized groups overall in the BHER program will improve
the quality of education in the Dadaab region, increase opportunities for
employment in the camps and contribute to the creation of a new
generation of Somalis, Ready to rebuild the nation upon return
to their homeland interview we conducted in the Dadaab
camp a young woman indicated that she wanted to go to school to become a
politician. The interviewer seem surprised that this
and can be heard asking “A politician?”, she responds “Yes a
politician because Somalia who needs new leaders BHER is in Dadaab to support her and her sisters, and brothers in their
efforts to bring peace to Somalia and to the world.