Refugee-led Management in Higher Education in Refugee Contexts: Learning from Experience in Kakuma Refugee Camp
Higher education in refugee contexts has emerged in recent years as a key humanitarian-development solution. From the courses of study available to refugees, to the daily running of programmes, this education space is dominated by online and western-centric education models and development agencies. Refugees in camps are primarily passive recipients of higher education programme and rarely actively participate in shaping their education programme development futures. Over the course of 6 months from August 2020 to January 2021, the author worked with 3 refugees in Kakuma refugee camp to create a refugee-led management model to lead the development and implementation of a higher education programme for refugees living in the camp. The difficulties instituting this approach were exacerbated by the on-going Covid-19 pandemic, but nevertheless the refugees succeeded in creating a viable management team that empowers them to shape their and their communities’ future educational success. This article charts the process of developing the refugee management team and highlights 6 of their successes to date.