The refugee population in the world is growing rapidly, almost one person is forcibly displaced every two seconds as a result of conflict or persecution. Fortunately at the same time our technological solutions for providing high quality education are improving every day.
Strong partnerships between organisations implementing these digital innovations are therefore critical to enable scalable solutions for underserved communities worldwide. Kiron Open Higher Education and Coursera, through the Coursera for Refugees Program, partnered in June 2016 to provide refugees and underserved communities access to high-quality education. Coursera is the largest MOOC provider with around 40 million registered users. The Coursera for Refugees Program offers open access to content and free certificates of the world best MOOCs to the most vulnerable learners worldwide. Together with its 25 Program partners, Coursera has been able to serve 26,000 refugees in 119 countries around the world.
Over the past three years, Kiron and Coursera have supported refugees worldwide by harnessing the potential of education technology to empower learners and build communities. Through the partnership with Coursera for Refugees, 3,375 courses were completed on a verified track and around 2,421 students enrolled on Coursera courses. In addition, a joint collaboration with Coursera and Duke University offered Duke students as part of an internship the opportunity to support Kiron students during the summer of 2018.
Together with our partners, we are committed to solving one of the most pressing problems for refugees worldwide. Inequality, lack of opportunity and barriers to long-term integration of refugees are only perpetuated if refugees are not offered inclusive, equal access to education. To overcome these obstacles, we have developed a quality-assured, innovative learning environment through a modularized curriculum, an online learning platform and comprehensive student support services.
Today, we have 60 partner universities in eight countries with which we have signed agreements to recognize some of the digital learning outcomes acquired by our students on our platform when transferring to university. In addition, we host high-quality learning materials on Kiron Campus and a strong and stable support network to help our students succeed.
Partnerships with academic partners such as Coursera’s and the learning agreements we sign with universities are crucial to our model. They enable Kiron employees to support our students in acquiring academic and professional skills, accessing traditional university programs, as well as contribute to the wider acceptance and recognition of online learning outcomes.
In the future, we intend to further develop the learning environment on our platform to achieve even higher student completion rates by implementing a combination of different strategies independently and jointly with academic partners such as Coursera: from continuously improving user experience on our platform to examining learner analytics to adjust our services.
To reach this goal, Kiron looks forward to strengthening the collaboration with Coursera to provide even more refugees worldwide with new educational perspectives and contribute to the United Nations’s fourth sustainable development goal: ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
“We launched Coursera for Refugees in 2016 to provide refugee learners transformative education and support services, at no cost to them. We are honored to partner with Kiron to support the refugee community and provide access to high-quality education.” — Kim Caldbeck, Chief Marketing Officer at Coursera