Photo of classroom in Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya | 2018-07

Borderless Higher Education for Refugees breaks down barriers


Wenona Giles

Professor Wenona Giles

York University’s Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER) project is equipping refugees with new skills. During the Spring 2018 convocation ceremonies at York in June, Dean Ananya Mukherjee-Reed congratulated the 2018 BHER graduates who were celebrating their convocation in their home country.

In the article titled York University’s distance-education program breaks barriers for refugees, the Globe and Mail reports on the progress this project has made is doing in areas like the refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya.

The BHER project is teaching students to become fluent English, helping them become less dependent on foreign aid organizations and also assisting them in securing jobs inside and out of Dadaab.

The project is co-lead by York anthropology Professor Wenona Giles.

“The BHER project is an international partnership of academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, (and) inter-governmental organizations that are working towards the delivery of online and some on-site degrees, diplomas and certificate,” said Giles in a video promoting the BHER project.

Since the project began in 2013, around 400 students have enrolled in BHER and half of them have earned degrees or aim to do so by this time next year.