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Kiron Open Higher Education

Enabling access to higher education and successful learning for refugees through digital solutions.

Kiron Open Higher Education (gGmbH) is an EduTech nonprofit organization that uses digital innovation to provide refugees with access to quality higher education. Kiron’s program consists of tailor-made curricula, a digital collaborative platform and an extensive range of supportive services.

Kiron Open Higher Education is a German non-profit organization, founded in March 2015, with a mission to enable access to higher education and successful learning for refugees through digital solutions. Through an innovative model of blended learning, Kiron offers tailor-made curricula clustering Massive Open  Online Courses (MOOCs) from renowned educational platforms like Coursera and edX so that refugees can start studying regardless of their asylum status. The courses offered through Kiron are entirely free of charge and accessible via the learning platform ‘Kiron Campus.’ Through strong partnerships with accredited universities worldwide, students have the opportunity to finish their studies offline with the goal of earning a regular bachelor’s degree.

Kiron focuses on scalability of its digital solutions to higher education worldwide ensuring cost-efficient operations. Impact is measured on three dimensions: study success, university transfer and scaling success (i.e. being able to offer a better service to more students worldwide). So far, 3000 students are currently studying on their online plattform, Kiron Campus, with completion rates  that are significantly higher than average online course completion rates (29% versus 2-10%). In 2017, 30 students were accepted to German Universities and are now continuing their studies in various locations. Most students come from Syria (40%), but also Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan are among the countries of origin, while Kiron has offices in Germany, Jordan and Lebanon.

Kiron offers coherent core curricula in five different, work relevant study tracks (Business and Economics, Social Work, Political Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Science) which combine asynchronous MOOCs with synchronous tutorials provided by Kiron Direct Academics. In other words, Kiron students can attend courses and assessments that accompany the MOOCs and support them in achieving their academic goals. Furthermore, Kiron students become part of an interactive on- and offline community and get the opportunity to enroll in prep courses for specific study tracks, general skills, or language learning.

Case study date: May 2018.

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