New ambitions for UNIGE for students living in refugee camps
The number of refugees or displaced people continues to grow each year due to armed conflicts and the consequences of climate change. The younger generations of refugees have a right to education but their access to studies remains extremely limited. Only 3% of refugees have the opportunity to go to university. We must therefore invent new ways of learning and new ways of giving access to higher education for all those who live in precarious situations.
InZone, the University of Geneva's pioneering academic program for refugee students, continues to innovate in the field of education. Born in the refugee camps of Kenya, InZone currently offers UNIGE courses in a blended format centered around two refugee managed campuses - one in Kenya, in Kakuma refugee camp and the second in Jordan, in Azraq refugee camp.
Under its new Academic Director, Prof Karl Blanchet, and its Executive Director, Thierry Agagliate, InZone finds new impetus and launches its new 2021-2025 strategy with a more varied academic offering adapted to the needs of refugees. Prof Karl Blanchet "With the new Certificates of Open Studies that we are creating this year with Faculty of Medicine and the Inter-Faculty Center for Children's Rights, we will be able to offer refugee students an adapted academic format which is both certifying and professionalizing, bringing more opportunities to students". Certificates of Open Studies allow any refugee person to attend university courses even if they do not have any prior diplomas,
For Thierry Agagliate, "the development of new partnerships with national universities and humanitarian actors present in the camps should also allow us in the years to come to anchor our programs in a national environment and create new opportunities for our students".
InZone's new strategy also emphasizes the need to put students at the center of the curriculum by co-producing course content. Samuel Niyonkuru, head of the InZone team in Kakuma and himself a refugee, shows that InZone now has sufficient experience to provide students with a unique learning experience:"the introduction of a fablab this year in the campus paves the way to very innovative possibilities of learning".
For vice-rector Stéphane Berthet, "InZone is not just a humanitarian program, it is also a laboratory for educational innovation at the heart of the University of Geneva. At UNIGE and in the camps, InZone is mobilizing teachers, researchers and students around an important common cause. Our vision is that the InZone teams in Geneva, Kakuma and Azraq help pave the way for a more open, inclusive and innovative University".
You can read the full Strategy here :