Bringing universities to refugee camps

The Dadaab refugee camps in northern Kenya sit in a bleak landscape; remote, dusty and arid, they are sun-scorched by day and whipped by fierce dust storms that blow up seemingly out of nowhere. While there is access to primary and secondary education, opportunities for tertiary education have been extremely limited over the years, writes Ginanne Brownell for The New York Times.

That is not unusual. The United Nations refugee agency estimates that fewer than 1% of refugees globally are enrolled in higher education programmes. Now, however, a pilot programme has been developed that aims to offer 400 students in the Dadaab camps a chance, over the next few years, to earn accredited diplomas in teaching and also a chance to earn university degrees in subjects including community health, development, business and natural sciences.

“Once you get your secondary school degree, there is no other place to go to improve your education,” said Abdullahi Abdi, a 20-year-old taking part in the programme, called Borderless Higher Education for Refugees, or BHER. “A lot of people remain in the refugee complex and become idle. So you cannot even imagine what a golden opportunity this is for us.”
Full report on The New York Times site