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BOOK LAUNCH - Borderless Higher Education for Refugees: Lessons from the Dadaab Refugee Camps

6 October 2021 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Header image of a group of BHER students with their families and professor Don Dippo in a classroom at the Education Centre in Dadaab Kenya.

with Wenona Giles and Lorrie Miller

Higher education is increasingly recognized as crucial for the livelihoods of refugees and displaced populations caught in emergencies and protracted crises, to enable them to engage in contemporary, knowledge-based, global society. This book tells the story of the Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER) project which delivers tuition-free university degree programs into two of the largest protracted refugee camps in the world, Dadaab and Kakuma in Kenya. Combining a human rights approaches, critical humanitarianism and a concern with gender relations and intersecting inequalities, the book proposes that higher education can provide refugees with the possibility of staying put or returning home with dignity. Written by academics based in Canada, Kenya, Somalia and the USA, as well as NGO workers and students from the camps, the book demonstrates how North-South and South-South collaborations are possible and indeed productive.

Wenona Giles is Professor Emerita and Senior Scholar in the Anthropology Department and Resident Research Associate of the Centre for Refugee Studies, York University, Canada, where she has taught and published in the areas of gender, forced migration, globalization, migration, education, nationalism and war. Her recent co-authored (with Hyndman) is Refugees in Extended Exile: Living on the Edge (2017) and recent co-edited book is (with Bhabha and Mohamed) A Better Future: The Role of Higher Education for Displaced and Marginalised People (2020). Giles co-founded and co-coordinated (with Korac) the International Women in Conflict Zones Research Network (1993–2004) and co-led (with Dippo) the Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER) project (2013–19) in the Dadaab refugee camps, Kenya. Her forthcoming Co-edited (with Miller) book is Borderless Higher Education for Refugees: Lessons from the Dadaab Refugee Camps (September 2021).

Lorrie Miller holds a Ph.D. from UBC in Curriculum Studies: Art Education. While working as a program coordinator in Teacher Education at UBC, she coordinated and directed the operational aspects of a Secondary Teachers’ Diploma program for UBC as part of the BHER project (located in Dadaab Kenya) with other national and international university partners. Questions surrounding pedagogies of care in education drive her academic curiosity: what should education look like in fragile contexts during challenging times? She is now the Associate Director at the Institute for Veterans Education & Transition and has co-edited with Wenona Giles: Borderless Higher Education for Refugees: Lessons from the Dadaab Refugee Camps.

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This event is a part of the BHER Speaker Series 2021-2022 Reciprocal Learning Beyond Crisis.