On 17 December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), with the support of 181 countries voting in favor. The Global Compact calls for greater international responsibility sharing, additional and predictable humanitarian funding and development support, and the adoption of a whole-of-society approach, including supporting investment in the future of refugee and local communities alike.
In addition, the GCR emphasizes the need to foster refugee self-reliance by supporting education at all levels, including higher education, and incorporating innovative methods that can leverage technology to expand access.
In this light, and given that only 1% of refugee youth have access to tertiary education, the CLCC plays an important role in scaling the available opportunities for refugee learners to engage with quality, accredited programmes.
This is a difficult task, and will require strengthening current partnerships and forging new ones in order to share costs and resources, build upon the work that has been done, and ultimately maximise the number of students we can reach; the demand for higher learning has never been greater, and the number of forcibly displaced worldwide grows by the day.
We must also reach out to a broader network of connected learning actors from the global South, to build capacity both in advocating for connected learning programming at national level, and in delivering quality education sustainably through supportive institutions and well-equipped instructors.
Our vision is that the CLCC will be a catalytic driver to enhance and expand the connected learning opportunities available for refugees and the communities that host them. Aligned to this vision the CLCC will be a vehicle through which CLCC members, and those exploring the field, can come together to tackle challenges and analyze promising practice, form and strengthen partnerships, conduct joint advocacy and research, and enhance the network of higher education actors supporting connected learning.