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Video: SNHU GEM graduates reflect on the transformative power of education for refugees

Close-up profile shot of graduate in cap and gown

In a new video, SNHU GEM graduates and staff explain how the program equips refugee students for post-graduate success.

Southern New Hampshire University’s Global Education Movement (SNHU GEM) strives to prepare students not only for graduation, but for meaningful employment and post-graduate success. We know when refugees have access to higher education, they not only improve their own lives, but create opportunities for their families, communities, and beyond.

In this video, filmed at the graduation ceremony held by our Cape Town, South Africa partner, the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town, SNHU GEM graduates put into words the significance of earning a university degree for a displaced student. 

“When a degree like this is given to refugees, it’s equipping them to actually help the economy. It also changes the mindset that says ‘if you’re a refugee, that’s your identity.’ Being a refugee is not an identity, it’s a condition that can be changed. And this is how we ensure refugees can step out and be the change they want to see in the world,” said SNHU GEM graduate Antony Murambiwa. “In the long term, this degree is a legacy for my children. I am showing them what we need to do as a generation, as a people, to overcome the challenges we might face without education.”

Today, refugee learners around the world face many barriers to higher education. And according to UNHCR, only 5% of refugees worldwide have access to higher education. SNHU GEM is working to change that. Together with our in-country partners, SNHU GEM provides learners with flexible, student-centered degree programs that meet their unique needs through a combination of online coursework, internships, and in-person wrap-around support services.

“On a personal level, getting my bachelor’s degree meant a lot for my self-esteem and my confidence,” said Abigail Moleka, a SNHU GEM graduate. Equipped with her SNHU GEM education and internationally-recognized degree, Abigail felt prepared to enter the global job market. “Right now I am so much more hopeful about my future, because I have a university degree and interviews lined up.”

We are so proud of these students, their determination and accomplishments, and look forward to following the next steps in their journey.