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About GEM

Global Education Movement

The Global Education Movement (GEM) is a major SNHU initiative offering university degrees to refugees around the world. Created in 2017, GEM is the first large-scale online learning initiative for refugees, partnering with in-country organizations to deliver high-quality, low-cost education tailored to meet the needs of displaced learners.

Currently, GEM serves over 1,000 students in five countries. The initiative originally launched in Rwanda’s capital of Kigali and in the remote Kiziba refugee camp. It quickly expanded, and now operates in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, and Lebanon as well.

GEM partners with existing organizations, NGOs, and universities to provide academic coaching, internship and on-the-job training, individualized coaching, and career counseling.

Competency-based education allows for a completely new way of earning a degree, as it gives refugee students the opportunity to access the learning platform and their own work anywhere with an internet connection. Learners engage in projects and earn credit by successfully completing them and proving their mastery in predetermined competencies or tasks.

The initiative’s online, project-based degree model and the robust in-person resources enable refugee students, who often face uncertain futures, to complete their studies at a self-directed pace. Through GEM, refugee students strengthen their skills for the global job market, as SNHU degrees are fully accredited and internationally recognized.

Refugee graduates with SNHU degrees are using their skills gained through the initiative for personal economic growth, as well as social and political autonomy. GEM’s role is to reach and empower refugees to grow their strengths and transform their lives for the better.