Higher Education in Emergencies: The Potential of Open Educational Resources and Virtual Learning in Fragile Contexts

Monday, 24 November, 2014 - 09:00 to Tuesday, 25 November, 2014 - 17:15
Room 6050, Uni Mail, University of Geneva 40, bd du Pont d'Arve, 1205 Geneva

International Geneva Incubator Workshop

organised by Prof. Barbara Moser-Mercer, Faculty of Translation and Interpreting, University of Geneva

With the participation of:

  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Center for Interpreting in Conflict Zones (InZone), University of Geneva
  • International Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)
  • Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER)
  • Jesuit Commons – Higher Education at the Margins (JC-HEM)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Teaching & Learning Laboratory (MIT – TLL)

The workshop will examine the education-fragility nexus with particular focus on access to higher education in emergencies. It will focus on techno-pedagogical approaches to increase both availability and accessibility of higher education offers by using Open Educational Resources (OER). The workshops will also map the potential of virtual learning and OERs for both formal and non-formal higher education in emergencies.

Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to education. Humanitarian actors, faced with tremendous challenges in both acute, protracted and complex emergencies, are obliged to focus on the immediate crises at hand and on core objectives, rather than on the provision of education. And yet, education represents a vital protection mechanism and contributes to recovery and political stability.

In light of the specifics of fragile contexts and their inherent constraints, standard higher education responses are liable to be short-lived and/or reach only a very small number of interested and eligible learners. Despite recent disruptive change in higher education, particularly through the rapid development of massive open on-line courses (MOOCs), it has yet to translate into truly democratic access to higher education. Access to information remains constrained by connectivity, language and cultural barriers.


The first day of the workshop will be restricted to experts, whilst the final panel on 25th November (09:00 - 17:15) will be open to a wider audience. 


Registration here (by 15 November 2014)