Education Opportunities

Open society university network

The Open Society University Network (OSUN) is a global partnership of educational institutions that expands access to higher education for underserved communities.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is an independent humanitarian organization helping people forced to flee. They work in crises in 32 countries, where they help save lives and rebuild futures.

Contact Information:
NRC in Kenya
Neil Turner, Country Director
+254 (20) 26 49 204

* Requirements for all courses: Valid GoK id or UNHCR manifest

Hairdressing, welding, electrical, tailoring
Duration: 3 months; Deadline: January-February

Basic literacy and numeracy
Duration: 3 months; Deadline: January-February

The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) has been operating in Kenya since 2005, where we assist refugees and displacement-affected communities by implementing protection and livelihoods activities that increase their self-reliance and expand opportunities for a dignified life. DRC works in Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps. Read more »

Contact Information:
Heather Amstutz, Regional Director
David Kang’ethe, Country Director
Christian Jacob Hansen, Head of Division for Africa & Americas


Dressmaking, Tailoring, Catering, Motor vehicle mechanics, Plumbing, Electrical, Hairdressing

Additional Requirements: Basic education/ KCSE or equivalent; Ages between 18-35 years

Duration: 3 months – 1 year; Deadline: April
* Females and applicants with special needs are encouraged to apply.

Professional (diploma and certificate)

Disaster management; Community development and Social work; Business management; Entrepreneurship; Procurement and supplies management

Additional Requirements: Age 18-35 years. Must be first time awarded a DRC scholarship. Demonstrate strong financial need, commitment to community development, and English written and oral communication skills.

Academic Requirements: Certificate courses: Minimum grade of KCSE C-; Diploma courses: Minimum grade of KCSE D+

Duration: 1 year; Deadline: April

Masinde Muliro University of Science & Technology (MMUST) holds the view that science and technology is an indispensable tool in harnessing resources of nature for sustainable development and creating an environment in which human beings can survive and realize their potential. Thus, the human person has the moral obligation to creatively improve the environment. This can be achieved through a well-conceptualized educational, scientific and technological package through which every human being must rightfully experience and acquire the tools to facilitate this mission. Read more »

Contact Information:
P.O. Box 190-50100 # Kakamega, Kenya
+254 (0) 702597360/1; +254 (0) 733120020/2; +254 (0) 057 2505222/3

Short Courses, Diploma and Certificate (TVET), Undergraduate, and Postgraduate programmes are available.

Self-sponsorship and partial scholarship may be available for MMUST degree programs- Refugee and host community Form 4 graduates can self-sponsor tuition at the MMUST’s Kakuma campus.

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is the longest serving and biggest implementing partner for UNHCR in Kakuma Refugee Camp and we work in Kakuma Camp, Kalobeyei Settlement, Nadapal Transit Centre on the South Sudanese border and in Turkana West Sub County. We currently manage programs in Primary and Preschool Education with more than 80,000 learners enrolled, Child protection with about 16,000 direct beneficiaries and over 102,000 indirect beneficiaries, Youth Development Programs which involve sports, performing and visual arts and Mentorship, Peace  building and conflict  resolution programs, Community managed Safety and Security Programs, Social Services which include Reception of New arriving refugees and Support and Relief Supply to People with specific Needs, Sustainable livelihoods programs, Water for the host community, Construction Projects and Social Accountability programs.

Contact Information:
The Lutheran World Federation Kenya Djibouti Somalia Program
Nairobi Office, P.O. Box 40870 – 00100, Nairobi, Kenya, Gitanga Road
+254707 818 182; +254723 115 737

Diploma program through MMUST in primary education
Requirement: Currently employed as a primary teacher in Kakuma schools
Duration: ~9 months; Deadline: Usually March
* Intensive courses during school breaks, graduation at MMUST’s main campus

Bridging certificate in primary education
Requirement: Currently employed as a primary teacher in Kakuma schools, targeting female teachers
Duration: 1 year

Don Bosco Kakuma in partnership with UNHCR focuses on the implementation of the activities related to Self-Reliance and Livelihoods to equip youth refugees and host community with technical skills” Read More
Salesians of Don Bosco The Salesians of Don Bosco are a religious congregation of Brothers and Priests . The organization was founded in 1859 by Saint John Bosco. Don Bosco’s mission was clear and simple:
Read More

Contact information:
Address:P.O.Box 41, – 30501,
Kakuma Turkana West
Phone: +254-703626556

* Requirements for all courses: Valid GoK id or UNHCR manifest

Mechanics, Welding, Carpentry & joinery, Cabinet making; Plumbing, Electrical, Masonry; Tailoring; Dressmaking
Additional Requirements: Basic or technical education
Duration: 1 year; Deadline: January

English Language
Basic, Intermediate
Additional Requirements: Basic or technical education
Duration: 3 months; Deadline: Varies

Basic, Intermediate, Advanced diploma
Additional Requirements: Form 4 completion
Duration: 3 months; Deadline: Varies

Secretarial Training
Additional Requirement: Form 4 completion
Duration: 6 months; Deadline: Jan-July

The Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) would like to notify all parents/guardians and candidates that verification of the 2019 KCPE and KCSE registration details is ongoing between February 18-28, 2019.

Verification may be done by sending the candidate’s index number and exam to 20076. There is a space between index number and exam, e.g., 36613101108 KCSE, 37616057008 KCPE.

In case of any anomaly, please contact the Head teacher or Principal of your School immediately before the deadline for correction of the details.

For updates, visit: The Kenya National Examinations Council Facebook Page

The InZone Learning Hub is located in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. Equipped with 10 learning stations and 10 Raspberry Pi CEED laptops, the solar-powered hub supports virtual and blended learning for a wide range of formal and non-formal higher education courses. The lab is open six days a week, is refugee-run, and is also home to the InZone MOOCs4Peace Center

Certificate courses in human rights, children’s rights, ethics, and global history are offered online/ distance learning, through Geneva University
Requirement: Secondary school completion (does not need to be KCSE), English language communication skills.
Duration: 2-3 months ; Deadline: varies

Certificate courses for humanitarian interpreters are available through Geneva University & Kenyatta University (basic, advanced training)
Requirement: Employment as an interpreter at UNHCR
Duration: 2 terms; Deadline: varies

Scholarship search for refugees

This platform helps you to find accredited higher education academic or scholarship programmes verified by UNHCR to allow you to pursue advanced study, skills and professional development. You can search by country, degree type, language, and field of study.

Inzone updates   This is the link to INEE member stories at university of Geneva  offering services to the community after getting the skills in emergency studies field they are now applying it in this Covid19 period when their indeed needed the most.

Refugee students battle to access education due to COVID 19

Wadgy Sawahel

To withstand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has been calling on governments, the private sector, civil society and other key stakeholders to improve the access of refugees to university education. Higher education experts have echoed the call, highlighting the vulnerability of African students in refugee camps in particular.

Shabia Mantoo, the spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said in Geneva recently that without support for the university education of refugees, “countless futures will be jeopardised”.  

Mantoo said refugees needed to be included in national education systems and more international support was also needed to help refugee-host countries work towards this. “We also need more donors, universities and higher education institutions to come forward and offer places and scholarship programmes for refugees to enable their studies,” she said.

In an attempt to support refugees, UNHCR in October launched a first-of-its-kind platform, Scholarship Opportunities for Refugees, which provides a global database of higher education programmes available to refugees both in their countries of asylum and abroad. 

More refugees could drop out of university 

“Higher education [provisioning] for refugees, in general, is unfortunately very limited as it is,” Mantoo told University World News. “Today, only 3% of refugees globally have access to higher education. This is a very small figure.” 

“For African refugee students who are enrolled in tertiary programmes, COVID-related university, college and school closures, as well as disruptions in learning, are affecting their studies. But we are quite worried about the other consequences of the pandemic,” Mantoo added.

“Bearing in mind that the majority of the world’s refugees – 85% – live in developing regions, the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are pushing many refugees further into poverty,” she said. According to her this could force many displaced and destitute students to drop out of university, college and school and into work or on the streets to try and support themselves and their families.

Expanding further, Paul O’Keeffe, a post-doctoral researcher at the Switzerland-based University of Geneva’s InZone Centre for Higher Education in Fragile Contexts, told University World News that the suspension of programmes, due to lockdowns and other restrictive measures imposed by the forced migration management system, has had the biggest impact on refugee higher education.

“The easy fix of switching purely to online approaches that we have seen in the West has been proven time and again not to be an effective educational approach in the best of circumstances, but has been disastrous for refugees confined to poorly resourced camps, where electricity and other basic resources are insufficient and luxuries like internet connections and technology are only available for the few,” added O’Keeffe.  

He is the author of the August 2020 article “The case for engaging online tutors for supporting learners in higher education in refugee contexts”.

Echoing these sentiments, Ali Abdirahman Osman at the Kenya-based Kakuma Refugee Camp, which is one of the biggest refugee camps in the world, told University World News: “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on African university students [who are] refugees economically, academically, socially and even psychologically. African refugee students suffered from discrimination, worry of no studies, no income and some have even been thinking of suicide.” 

Online education difficulties

Derya Ozkul, research officer at the Refugee Studies Centre of the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, told University World Newsthat refugees who have already been faced with difficulties were now worse off.  

“There have been attempts to provide online education, but many refugees do not have access to technological equipment, computers, Wi-Fi, or a suitable place to work.” Ozkul is the author of the September 2020 report Policy recommendations towards immigrants, asylum-seekers and refugees for the COVID-19 pandemic

In her study Ozkul recommended that there “should be additional optional classes for particularly vulnerable communities, including refugees and irregular migrants who did not have the chance of accessing online education, in order for them to be able to catch up with online teaching materials”.

A “severe” impact on students

Barbara Moser-Mercer, a visiting professor at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, told University World News that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, higher education in emergencies became a global phenomenon with emergency remote teaching rather than quality digital learning, one of the most frequent responses at tertiary level.

“The impact has been severe for almost all students,” Moser-Mercer said.

“For those forcibly displaced, as well as other marginalised groups, enjoying the human right to education should thus also include an entitlement to connectivity, and African institutions of higher learning need to move swiftly from digitalising content to implementing quality on-line learning with on-site learning support in refugee communities,” she added.

“Some of the key obstacles that prevent larger numbers of refugees on the African continent from accessing tertiary education, such as education financing, credential recognition and degree programmes that are germane to Africa and make refugees truly employable in host country communities, have little to do with COVID-19,” said Moser-Mercer.

“Advancement in these areas, and in quality digital learning at tertiary level, is what the recently launched African University Network for Higher Education in Emergencies, has set itself as key objectives for the next three years,” said Moser-Mercer, author of the 2020 article“Higher Education in Emergencies – An African Response Model”.

Correcting misconceptions

Hakan Ergin, lecturer at Istanbul University, Turkey, told University World News that African refugees are the “most disadvantaged group amongst refugees as they face racial discrimination, in addition to serious socioeconomic challenges”. 

“This has been doubled by the COVID-19 pandemic because of the misconception that refugees are considered to be transmitters of the pandemic, just as African refugees were misconceived to be the only transmitters of HIV, malaria, measles and tuberculosis before,” said Ergin, who is the co-author of the  July 2020 book Refugees and Higher Education: Trans-national perspectives on access, equity, and internationalization

“However, we see that the number of positive COVID-19 cases among refugees is quite low [compared to] that of settled residents. This misconception might lead to a wrong belief that African refugee students are not healthy and might transmit the pandemic on university campuses,” Ergin pointed out.

“In order to fight such a misconception, stakeholders of higher education should be informed correctly that not a specific race or refugee group but anyone is a potential transmitter of the pandemic,” Ergin concluded.

Get back to the basics

To deal with the health impact of COVID-19 on university education for African refugees, O’Keeffe said the InZone centre had mobilised medical and global health students to create a COVID-19 strategy which enabled the centre to continue working in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. 

“The strategy includes various health care advice videos the students created and spread around the camp via Whatsapp, and a plan to facilitate safe access to our learning facilities: we provide hand sanitiser, soap and masks and require our students to follow strict social distancing measures in our facilities and have a well-structured schedule for group gatherings. While this has taken a little planning and effort, it has proved very effective and has allowed our students to take back a bit of control over their lives in these difficult times,” said O’Keeffe.

According to O’Keeffe, the international education community needed to recalibrate itself and get back to basics – teaching and learning.

“Yes, [COVID-19] makes our work harder, but abdicating our pedagogical responsibilities and [allowing ourselves to be] tempted by the easy options such as switching to purely online education approaches, will not help in the long run,” he said.

Opportunity offered by JRS

  • JRS- Online learning opportunity Jesuits’ offered by Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) to Vulnerable Refugees in Kenya Access University Education this  the scholarship is  implemented in partnership with U.S-based Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) along with the Global Education Movement (GEM), JRS leadership hopes to “enable refugees to attain protection, oppo
  • The JRS/SNHU degree program is  competency-based program  and it is Besides the four-year degree program, which  is online and self-paced, and student are offer career mentorship and other linkages upon graduation, aimed at improving the employability of the beneficiaries. The students are provided with laptops and modems for Internet access. 
  • An applicant must be a refugee with a UNHCR mandate or be available in Kenya’s capital, 
  • Nairobi to complete the degree program, 
  • Elig to have proof of secondary school completion from Kenya or from their country of origin, and not enrolled in any degree program at the time of application
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