To aid students’ learning and help them prepare for university, study hubs were set up in Jordan and Lebanon where students had access to facilitators, computers and internet, as well as wrap-around support and a sense of community. The study hubs were inspired by refugees’ shelter-building practices and were designed to be portable, scalable, cost-effective, ecologically responsive and structurally secure.
King’s contributed to the blended curriculum that the American University of Beirut (AUB) created for delivery in these study hubs. This strand of the project was the most impactful in realising the ambition of increased access to higher education for Syrian refugees and disadvantaged young people in Jordan and Lebanon. Over 1,000 students participated in these blended programmes, with 510 students following PADILEIA’s innovative Foundation Programme and 102 graduates going on to continue their education and enrol at university.
The Principles of Engineering course was co-developed by King’s Online in collaboration with Professor Claire Lucas and Professor Mischa Dohler from the Department of Engineering. As part of the course, Claire and Mischa delivered virtual live-teaching teaching to 14 students, providing four hours of further teaching to the cohort based in Lebanon. This was a first for the PADILEIA project and was highly successful. Course facilitator Phillipe commented that ‘the collaboration with King’s professors Mischa and Claire helped students to gain knowledge and to see how topics were real and applicable. This kept them excited to learn more about new technologies and to think about the upcoming new technologies.’
Professor Claire Lucas, Professor of Engineering Teaching and Learning, reflected on the mutual benefits of supporting the PADILEIA project: ‘Creating the course with Mischa and the team was a fantastic experience and getting to deliver some live sessions with students in Lebanon and hear their project ideas was truly inspiring.’