UN to expand innovative higher education for young refugees in Africa


Cameroon Report, YAOUNDE – The UN refugee agency and the Connected Learning in Crisis Consortium held a roundtable discussion on increasing access to higher education for refugees in West and Central Africa (WCA) through connected learning.

The roundtable discussion which took place in Senegal’s capital Dakar on March 29 and 30 focused on Chad, Niger, and Cameroon, according to a UN statement.

It included participants from ministries of education and local universities from the three countries.

According to Xavier Creach, head of protection at UNHCR Regional Bureau for West and Central Africa, refugees need opportunities to start their lives again, become self-reliant, and regain their dignity.

“Connected learning presents a unique opportunity to provide young refugees with access to quality higher education courses,” he said at the opening of the roundtable. Connected Higher Education can widen participation to tertiary education for refugees while allowing access to content and resources that enable students to connect in the modern world.

The current enrolment rate of refugees in tertiary education in the WCA region stands at just 1.2%, which is well below the regional access rate for non-refugees, which averages 10%, and the global access rate for refugees which averages 5%, according to the UN.

Refugees face many challenges in accessing tertiary education, and access to quality and certified connected learning programs presents an opportunity to overcome some of these challenges, according to the statement.

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