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Go-ahead given for two King's overseas projects

somaliliand-microscope_224x135Go-ahead given for two King’s overseas projects

King's College London is to lead two innovative new projects supporting overseas higher education, including a programme for Syrian refugees, following confirmation of major government grants.

The projects will bring together knowledge and expertise from King’s as well as organisations from the UK, Germany, Somaliland, Lebanon and Jordan. The two partnerships will begin delivering their work in early 2017 and are up to five years in duration.

One King’s project aims to address the higher education needs of Syrian refugees and displaced people in Jordan and Lebanon. It will provide blended academic programmes, including Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), targeted online learning, and classroom-based learning to displaced students. The Partnership for Digital Learning and Increased Access (PADILEIA) aims to support young displaced Syrians seeking access to higher education and, in the future, help to rebuild post-conflict Syria.

The second project, Prepared for Practice, seeks to address Somaliland’s health workforce crisis, where teaching institutions struggle to produce medical, nursing and midwifery graduates who are adequately prepared for real world situations and consequently are often expected to make life-or-death decisions with little or no support.  Partners will work collaboratively on the project to help ensure that Somaliland’s next generation of health workers have the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours to do their jobs effectively, by delivering an extensive, integrated programme including interactive online students teaching, blended faculty training to improve teaching skills, an online support network for postgraduates and national policy improvements.

These two projects are the first to be supported by Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education Innovation and Reform (SPHEIR), a new initiative funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and managed by the British Council, Universities UK and PwC.

The Syrian project partners are Kiron Open HE (Germany), FutureLearn in the UK, Al al-Bayt University in Jordan and the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. The Somaliland project partners are Amoud University, Edna Aden University and Teaching Hospital, the University of Hargeisa, MedicineAfrica and the Tropical Health and Education Trust.

Vice Principal (International) Dr Joanna Newman, said: The SPHEIR project is an excellent initiative and we are delighted that King’s has been selected to lead on the first two of these ambitious projects. It will provide a great opportunity for King’s to work with local partners in utilising and building upon some of the superb work which has been done in both regions to date.  As the projects develop they will enable staff and students to become involved and contribute to pressing global challenges, such as migration and the refugee crisis and strengthening fragile health care systems.’

Andy Leather, Director of the King's Centre for Global Health said: ‘The SPHEIR programme represents an exciting leap forward for our 16 year-old Somaliland Partnership. We look forward to working closely with our Somaliland partners and friends to achieve systemic change for health education so that in the future King’s support is no longer needed.

Professor Michael Kerr, Head of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at King’s added: ‘The Syria conflict and resulting displacement of people – including a huge number of young people and children, is the largest humanitarian crisis the world has witnessed since the Second World War. In addition to the trauma, the impact of having to flee a conflict zone has a lasting impact upon young people, disrupting their education – and risking creating a ‘lost generation’ with few prospects. We hope to bring our skills in HE and knowledge of the region to help prevent that scenario and create positive opportunities instead.’                                                                        

ENDS

Please contact:

Stuart.Coles@kcl.ac.uk

0207 848 3076 for more details.

Find out more about King’s Somaliland project HERE