Students in GEM sites in Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa are receiving SNHU student ID cards this month. For many refugee students, this is an important milestone that represents not only their new status as university students at SNHU but is also a new verification tool that can help to unlock previously out-of-reach opportunities and privileges.
In some cases, having documentation of student status can help students to open bank accounts, access free or reduced-cost transportation, get more time in public libraries and receive discounts in certain shops or for certain services. It also provides one more form of official identification in contexts where it can really matter. Many refugees and asylum seekers struggle to secure identification documents or have their documents recognized by officials. In many cases, student status has been one more privilege that they have been denied access to as a result of immigration status, and they are eager to demonstrate their university affiliation with SNHU.
When we handed out the IDs to SNHU students at Scalabrini Centre in Cape Town, they were ecstatic. Angelique (pictured above with her ID) shared her excitement with us after receiving her new SNHU ID card, exclaiming, “I’m so happy to get this card because I can use it for the library and I can show people that I’m really a student.”