SNHU GEM Renews Commitment to Educating Displaced Learners at the UNHCR Global Refugee Forum

UNHCR speaker at microphone

SNHU GEM leaders and graduates met with leaders in refugee education at the Global Refugee Forum.

In December, SNHU Vice President of Global Initiatives and Executive Director of the Global Education Movement, Rachael Sears, joined leaders in refugee education at the UNHCR Global Refugee Forum (GRF) and Education Campus in Geneva, Switzerland. The Education Campus, which is held as a linked event to the Forum every four years, invites individuals and organizations to reflect on the progress made in refugee education and to commit to supportive actions over the next four years.

At the Global Refugee Forum Education Campus, Rachael shared learnings from our work to increase refugee access to higher education and to support UNHCR’s goal to increase refugee enrollment in higher education to 15% by 2030. SNHU GEM graduates were also invited to participate in the GRF as featured panelists, experts, and moderators across multi-day events. SNHU GEM graduates Sadiki Bamperineza, Jackson Byiringiro, and Oricia Ngenyibungi were among the learners who stepped into the spotlight at the Global Refugee Forum and Education Campus.

The 2023 Global Refugee Form in Geneva marked a pivotal moment in our collective commitment to addressing the ongoing refugee crisis. Key stakeholders worldwide – including refugees – united to pledge action and collaborate on impactful solutions. The recent Global Refugee Forum showcased the progress made since our last meeting four years ago, emphasizing the importance of refugees taking the lead on shaping decisions. While significant strides have been made, the growing number of 114 million forcibly displaced individuals underscores the urgency for continued collaboration and decisive action.  

Rachael presented a video that highlights stories from learners about how their SNHU GEM education opened pathways to meaningful employment and self-determination. In the words of SNHU GEM graduate Marie Higiro Rouise: “SNHU GEM gave me the opportunity to study, but it didn’t stop at that. It made sure it eliminated the barriers that would stop me from getting my degree that would stop me from being my best self.” 

Equipped with high-quality degrees and real-world, professional experiences, refugees are able to attain meaningful employment, support themselves and their families, and transform not only their own lives, but the lives of those around them, in ways they may not have believed possible.

At this year’s Global Refugee Forum, SNHU GEM renewed its commitment to educating displaced learners by pledging to provide scholarships to 5,000 refugee learners. We will continue to provide scholarships to our U.S.-accredited programs for refugees across Africa and the Middle East and continue collaborating with in-country partners to provide wrap-around support and pathways to degrees so that displaced learners have the opportunity to lead brighter, more secure lives.

Southern New Hampshire University’s Global Refugee Forum pledge underscores our commitment to promoting access to high-quality education for all and transforming lives at scale. Watch our video from GRF to learn more about SNHU GEM’s work to increase refugee access to higher education.