Foundations for All

This project will provide insights to the Mastercard Foundation, Refugee Law Project, American University of Beirut, Makerere University, the University of Edinburgh, and other key stakeholders on how to effectively facilitate access to and future success in higher education for displaced and refugee young people in resource-poor environments through contextualised blended bridging programs. Specifically, the project focuses on: 

1) developing and demonstrating the use of a shareable toolkit that includes:

  • a Scoping Tool for effective assessment of the needs and capacities of refugees and displaced young people in relation to accessing and succeeding in higher education, including existing pathways, requirements, and obstacles;
  • a Design Framework for the development of supported blended learning interventions for and with displaced youth that take into account the relevant barriers and facilitators in the local context as well as the specific psycho-social support needs of the target population;
  • a case study of a blended bridging program in Lebanon; and
  • a case study of a blended bridging program in Uganda (which will be piloted as part of the action research); and

2) piloting and assessing a blended learning bridging program, ‘Foundations for All’, for refugees and displaced youth with the goal of enabling their subsequent access to and success in tertiary education in Uganda. Foundations for All is a 30-week curriculum in core subjects necessary to success in higher education in Uganda: English, Maths, Digital Skills and Study Skills. Understanding Myself and Others is the core module for Foundations for All, designed to provide psychosocial support to all students in the programme. This is the pilot and is currently running in two sites: Kampala as well as the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. Each location is staffed by a team of tutors from the Refugee Law Project and each site has 20 students (so a total of 40 refugee students from South Sudan, Somalia, and Democratic Republic of Congo primarily).

Find out more

Research areas
Digital Cultures
Research team
  • Falisse, Jean-Benoit (Principal Investigator)
  • Gallagher, Michael (Co-investigator)
  • Symons, Kate (Co-investigator)
  • Cole, Georgia (Co-investigator)
  • Crawley, Michael (Co-investigator)
Key contact
Dr Michael Gallagher

Mastercard Foundation


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