Southern New Hampshire University launches first phase of initiative for refugees

Photo: SNHU

Photo: SNHU

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) announced that it received $10 million from a group of anonymous donors to expand its refugee education program. The funds will be used to launch online, competency-based bachelor's and associate degrees for refugees.

Over the world, 65.3 million people are displaced, most of them children who have no access to education. Refugees are five times more likely to be out of school than the global average.

Last month, sixteen students from Rwanda completed U.S.-accredited associate degrees while living in a refugee camp. They took part of a program created by SNHU to help displaced people get education.

Paul LeBlanc, President of SNHU, stated that the programs will be useful for refugees when they return home.

“We are going to build out programs in construction management, counseling for trauma, frontline healthcare, things that people are going to need as they go back to start to rebuild with the basics,” LeBlanc said.

The University is planning to build four new centers around the world and will look to partnerships to expand its reach, with the goal of educating 50,000 refugees by 2022.

"We're giving refugees hope for the future, the tools to rebuild their lives, and a transformational opportunity. Over the next five years, we will scale our work to many other locations, many of which are ready and eager to begin tomorrow,” said Chrystina Russell, leader of the refugee learning initiative at SNHU.