Can RLC help support HE in refugee camps?

Dr. Gül İnanç from Nanyang Technological University is looking to design HE programmes for refugees. Please read these slides for further information on the back ground to the project

However, so for the role of librarians has been omitted from the discussion, and I see a great opportunity for RLC  to contribute…Basically, we reckon we can offer the sorts of things many of us do, but for refugees. Sounds good, right?

A few emails later, Gül has asked “how Radical Librarians can contribute to [planned] online courses, which will be designed for the refugee students.” This will be discussed at the SNIS Workshop ( in Geneva on the 24th of Nov.

I imagine some technical/infrastructure possibilities in terms of LibraryBox (although if the courses are online, possibly not… that might need some clarification, but a possibility?) , Critical Information Literacy, OA/information sources etc. Indeed, I recognize the limited information about infrastracture may make this difficult to form concrete ideas, but we may be able to help frame this if we can think of necessary tools etc.

So, how can we support Higher Education for refugees? Do you have presentations that could be used as a basis for the project, then modified as appropriate? Can you think how you of opportunities for learners in this context? Please feel free to chuck your ideas in and discuss in the comments here.


  1. This slide deck is inspiring.

    The following comment jumped out at me given my work:

    Offer refugees a stimulating academic program, skills for employment in the camps and AN ASSET THAT THEY CAN CARRY WITH THEM, wherever they may resettle

    We have a Moodle based program in final BETA where a course equals studying a single book. Any student can read a book, study with their teacher, talk to friends and then go to the website and complete an interactive, recorded test on the book so that that book can be added to their portfolio. There is no live interaction with a proctor but we do spot check the recordings to make sure it is the student who registered for the account and they are watching the screen the who time.

    Over time they build up their own PERMANENT verified portfolio they can access wherever there is a computer. Their record (their my profile page) is a AN ASSET THAT THEY CAN CARRY WITH THEM wherever they go. They can use it for jobs for further university study, etc.

    Our first 70 books are all in English. The classic US high school books. But I’m thinking we could easily add question sets about books in Arabic or other languages if we could get a few readers who know the classic Arabic books the young people in high school are / could / should read.

    I’ve been developing this with underserved youth programs in New York City but there is no reason the refugee students over 12 could not use this.

    Best, Matt Pearson

    1. Thank you very much for your comment! I have added it to the document that we are using to collate all recommendations, ideas, concerns etc. that can be used to help shape this idea with LIS input,

  2. hello! i did some work for a project called etekkatho which is an open access digital library project for students and researchers in myanmar. they compressed the files so that they could be downloaded on low bandwidth internet connections. might be worth a look at their website/contacting them for advice about stuff.

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