Bridging the education access gap for refugees through online learning | MIT J-WEL

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Bridging the education access gap for refugees through online learning

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Today, there are over 65 million global refugees. When refugees lose their homes, their lives are disrupted not only by physical displacement but often by educational and career displacement as well. A new collaboration between the MITx MicroMasters program in data, economics, and development policy (DEDP); the MIT Refugee Action Hub (ReACT), which provides blended learning opportunities to refugees; and J-WEL’s co-lab, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), which works to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence, will help bridge this gap in access by providing selected refugee learners with scholarships for DEDP courses. It will also provide refugees with the opportunity to “participate in skills-building workshops and connect with top organizations and companies in the field of development economics and data analysis.”

J-PAL's blog explains the program's foundation: 

The partnership between J-PAL and ReACT provides a foundation upon which to rebuild the disrupted education and careers of refugees worldwide. Using a carefully crafted model of blended online and in-person learning, financial support, and community building, the new program is designed to address the unique educational and professional obstacles facing refugees. The goal is to make graduate-level education in data analysis and development economics accessible and affordable for all, especially those who face heightened barriers to accessing online and higher education.

Admir Masic, the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, shared his thoughts about the new collaboration with MIT News: “I’m so excited about the new track within the DEDP/ReACT MicroMasters certificate program because, on top of all the other benefits associated with the ReACT blended learning approaches, we open the way for our refugee students to gain a master’s degree from MIT or any other university in this MicroMasters network.”


The Summer 2018 program begins on June 5, with the Fall 2018 program starting on September 25. Visit ReACT for additional details regarding the program. Refugees can access the application online. The application deadline is June 23, 2018. 

Refugees are not the only learners who can participate in the DEDP MicroMasters program. J-WEL members are also eligible to participate and receive discounts on MicroMasters certificates.


Photo courtesy of MIT ReACT