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Purpose
  • Primary/Secondary Ed
  • Higher Ed (formal)
The aim of the Lab is to ensure that every refugee and forcibly displaced person has access to relevant and high-quality learning opportunities that will enable them to serve as agents of change for their communities. It enables the provision of training, vocational and higher education through virtual learning (including professional and teaching degrees) provided in refugee camps using on-line and blended learning pedagogies. The Learn Lab’s strength lies in its collaboration with the Education Unit within UNHCR’s Division of International Protection, and the partnerships it builds with external leaders in innovation and education to help orient and validate programmes. The largest initiative within the Learn lab is called "connected learning" and the partners are: the Australian Catholic University or ACU; Borderless Higher Education for Refugees or BHER, InZone-University of Geneva, Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins, Kenyatta University, Kepler, Moi University, PEIC, UNHCR and the VodaFone Foundation. The partners provide on-line and blended learning certified courses for refugees in camps all over the world. These are under constant development in order to identify the best pedagogical model and ensure the quality of the offers. In the primary and secondary educational sector, UNHCR primarily works through the ministries of education. There are some initiatives, like the TIGER (These Inspiring Girls Enjoy Reading), targeted at adolescent Syrian girls in the UNHCR Zaatari camp in Jordan. Students get access a wide range of open educational resources, connected by Wi-Fi to a Raspberry Pi server. This enables them to experience self-paced learning as an active, engaging and sustained process that is aligned with the school assignments and directly relevant to their current and evolving needs.
Title UNHCR - The Learn Lab
Date launched 2014
Duration Ongoing
Purpose Higher educational (formal) Primary/secondary education
Type of Resource Other online courses Videos
Online or Blended Blended
Learning objectives The aim of the programmes provided is to transform young people’s lives through educational opportunities that enhance interpersonal skills and foster a strong knowledge base, critical thinking, and conflict resolution.
Target group Refugees and displaced persons globally, at primary, secondary and tertiary education level.
Evaluation results/ monitoring plan Recently, a monitoring plan has been adopted, but no information available.
Recognition or certification of learning Partners develop and advocate in-house for refugee-focused programmes and ensure that content and pedagogy of the virtual learning align with international academic standards. UNHCR is responsible for ensuring a programme is aligned with its humanitarian protection mandate. The courses are certified by the providers. Providers vary. They include partners like Jesuit Commons Higher Education at the Margins, the African Virtual University, InZone and others.
Financing and sustainability model Funding by/through UNHCR, which collaborates with different foundations and private companies. There are plans to keep developing the concept of connected learning with more partners.
Leading Organization UNHCR education services and UNHCR, Division of International Protection
Contact Person Jacqueline Strecker
Learn Lab Manager
Kenya