Academic Support & Learning Pathway DesignUniversity Application Checklist – Scaling Study Orientation for RefugeesGermany, Middle East (Jordan, Lebanon)
KironAuthor: Konstantin Selesnew
We developed a digital tool for refugees that provides users with comprehensive and personalized information, specific next steps and recommendations: the Kiron University Application Checklist. After the implementation of the checklist for Kiron students in Germany, we also developed and adapted the checklist for access to universities in Jordan and Lebanon.
Refugees are often discouraged by the complexity of the university application process, and the missing guidance. All important information is technically available, but it is not centralized, let alone personalized or easily accessible.
After years of individual counseling of refugees, gaining insights about their challenges and needs, we asked ourselves: How can we serve an even larger number of people? We have therefore implemented a scalable tool on our learning platform Kiron Campus, that guides students through the process of applying to university from the initial interest phase through their application process.
The first iteration of the checklist has been available to Kiron users in Germany since spring 2019. To date, around 1,400 Kiron users have actively used it. After evaluating the accuracy and testing the usability of the tool, further iterations of the checklist are planned. Initial feedback from our users supports the assumption that a digital tool can be helpful in navigating the university application process:
Mohammad1: “The checklist is perfect and so easy to use.”
Asmaa2: “The information in the checklist is very easy to understand and informative. It is great for orientation. I found the usability very easy and relaxed. In general, it’s really nice, especially the order of the categories.”
In order to meet the challenge of the different individual situations of the applicants and the necessary personalized guidance, the checklist contains many interactive features that inform the user about what sort of university entrance qualification they might have, and if they are formally qualified to enter a Higher Education Institution. The checklist bundles all necessary information for the user to reduce complexity. This makes it easier to track exactly what needs to be done and when. It also provides additional information about financial questions such as scholarships or residency questions, and additional steps in the application process, for example, interviews, CVs and motivation letters, or preparatory internships.
Kiron’s University Application Checklist is to date the first and only digital tool for higher education that successfully addresses the challenge of scaling study orientation for refugees and underserved communities. In a responsive user experience, it provides comprehensive, but personalised and accessible information, combined with specific next steps for potential applicants.
It increases agency for refugees to pursue their own educational goals, and enables them to take the next steps either on their own, or ask for additional support.
1 Kiron user, name changed
2 Kiron user, name changed