Higher Education for Refugees in Dadaab CentreKenya
Dadaab and Kakuma, two of the most populous refugee camps, make Kenya the second-largest refugee-hosting country in Africa. Kenyatta University (KU) acknowledged that refugee students face numerous challenges in accessing higher education, including a lack of information and individual guidance to relevant courses. In 2012, KU established the Centre for Refugee Studies, which helps coordinate higher education for refugee students. The Centre’s mandate is to identify and develop academic and professional programs for students living in Dadaab and Kakuma.
Since its inception, the Centre for Refugee Studies, now Dadaab Centre, has coordinated higher education programs for more than 400 refugees and host community students through a blended mode of learning. Two key projects have made connected learning a reality:
Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER) in Dadaab, which is a collaboration between KU, York University, and Windle International Kenya (WIK)
Quality Secondary Education in Emergencies (QSEE) in Kakuma, which is a collaboration between the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht (HU), KU, WIK, and the Mastercard Foundation.
Over the years, KU has also hosted approximately 205 refugee students through in-person study under the Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative (DAFI) scholarship and several other students in different courses under the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) scholarship. The university has consistently played a key role in ensuring refugee and host communities have access to quality higher education and training that can help refugees succeed whether they are repatriated, resettled, or integrated locally.
KU, with the support of its partners, is committed to ensuring that refugee students continue learning and can take exams from their camps during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also seeking new partnerships to continually explore additional opportunities for refugee learners.
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