This catalogue of free digital learning initiatives has been finalised as of July 2021. The project team continued to receive requests for new initiatives until November 2022. The catalogue is open and freely accessible to all interested parties

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  • Higher Ed (formal)
The BHER Project aims to provide internationally recognized university education programs to refugees and locals based in Dadaab, Kenya. The innovation of the BHER project rests in the population it serves, the model it uses and the institutional policies and practices it enriches. This project focuses primarily on education for refugees caught in extended exile in the global South for more than 15 years, living in an underserved region where resources and supports for education are scarce. In the context of increased calls to provide higher education for refugees, BHER is one of the few projects that offers programs and contributes to community capacity building in situ.
The BHER project combines the expertise of Canadian and Kenyan universities which in the course of 10 years have amassed unique knowledge and experience in delivering university education onsite and online in the context of insecurity and marginalization. Working with and beyond individual institutional practices, we have modelled programming on the specific needs of refugee populations; used various pedagogical tools and training, as well as modes of content delivery, including the creation of opportunities for BHER students for intercultural learning with their Canadian peers through blended course delivery; adapted course content to the local context; and responded proactively to changes in Kenyan legislation regarding teacher education. The cornerstone of BHER programming is stackability (allowing students to stop at any one level of programming), portability (enabling students to continue studies wherever they go), gender equity and inclusivity (taking all necessary measures to ensure participation of women, ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities, as well as students with disabilities in all academic programs), and peaceful co-existence with the host community (at least 25% of BHER student body is from local sites). All academic programs are offered free to the refugee and local students serviced by BHER.
Title Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER)
Date launched 2016
Status (Ongoing, forthcoming) Ongoing (August 2013 to present)
Type of Resource Blended Learning (online courses through eClass, KUSOMI) and face-to-face intensive sessions (pre-COVID)
Purpose Higher Education (formal) – Certificates, diplomas, undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees
Online or Blended Blended
Learning outcomes The BHER Project began with a focus on improving the quality of primary and secondary education in the refugee and host communities of Dadaab through the provision of higher education. This aim also evolved to include a focus on training a cadre of refugee and local action researchers who are able to identify, think critically and produce knowledge on local issues impacting their communities. As such, the learning outcomes of the BHER project include:
  • Improved student-centred and inquiry-based teaching practices
  • Greater awareness and implementation of gender-sensitive strategies in the classroom
  • Deeper knowledge and understanding of subject areas, educational strategies
  • Improved collaboration between male and female students
  • Contribute to local knowledge and practices as action researchers and educationists
Target group Refugee and local populations of Dadaab, Kenya
Evaluation results/ monitoring plan NA
Recognition or certification of learning Accredited university certificates, diplomas, degrees (BA, BEd, BSc, MEd)
Europass Aligned with basic Europass fields
Financing and sustainability model The first five years of the BHER Project were financed by Global Affairs Canada (2013-2018). Following the GAC grant, the project was supported by Open Society Foundations (2018 – 2021) and York University (2018 – present).
Leading Organization York University
In collaboration with, Kenyatta University, Windle International Kenya, Lutheran World Federation, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Moi University (2013-18), University of British Columbia (2013-18) British Columbia (Vancouver)
Contact Person Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Is this initiative country- specific? If yes, please specify the country. Dadaab, Kenya