The Connected Learning Consortium aims to promote, coordinate, collaborate and/or support the provision of quality higher education in contexts of conflict, crisis and displacement through connected learning by sharing and disseminating knowledge, experience and evidence; developing innovative and good practice; and ensuring accountability to students and their communities in order to foster self-reliance.
Our objectives are to:
- Coordinate efforts and collaborate on the provision of Higher Education in contexts of conflict, crisis and displacement through connected learning;
- Develop innovative and good practice, quality standards and sustainable and potentially scalable solutions;
- Develop, share and disseminate scientific evidence and M&E models respectful of humanitarian principles;
- Raise awareness and advocate for connected learning in higher education in contexts of conflict, crisis and displacement; and
- Develop and share innovative pedagogical approaches to delivering technology-supported connected learning.
Underpinning our mission are unifying humanitarian principles that serve as the foundation for the Consortium’s work. In addition, each institution has overlapping values that unit us, these include Respect, Collaboration, Knowledge Sharing, Professionalism, Commitment, and Integrity.
In 2014, UNHCR held a roundtable in Nairobi to convene Connected Learning actors for the first time. The benefits were obvious, and as a result a series of additional meetings were convened and led by educational partners and funded by SNIS and PEIC, to share experiences and problem solve together. In late 2015, partners came together to design the framework for a formal consortium, which received an inception grant from the Open Society Foundations.
In 2016, concrete steps were taken to unify innovative and digital higher education efforts through the establishment of the Connected Learning Consortium, which focuses particularly on addressing the undermet needs of refugees and displaced communities. The Consortium has attracted engagement from a wider set of actors, formalized the practice of experience-sharing, established the groundwork for a dynamic community of practice, and strengthened networking across programs.
The Consortium efforts were aided by Al Fanar Media, Ford Foundation, GIZ, and OSF who have actively contributed to this field by convening relevant stakeholders – advancing our understanding of this field and strengthening programming for refugees.
In 2017, the Consortium aims to build on the collective momentum to consolidate effective protection-based programming in higher education through digital and connected learning, with a view to expanding geographical reach, consolidating partnerships, enhancing synergies, and strengthening the evidence base for progressive pedagogies.
The Consortium is governed by a Board of founding members, organized into a small number of Standing Committees. These committees are responsible for accomplishing Consortium tasks and ensuring on-going operations. The Board is charged with administrative duties and possesses direct decision-making authority. The Consortium is coordinated by UNHCR and UNIGE/InZone.
Current Standing Committees include Finance; Communications and Advocacy; Research; Projects; Technology and Pedagogy; Quality Principles and Membership; and Accreditation.
The Consortium was established by 9 founding members: Australian Catholic University, Jesuit Worldwide Learning, Kenyatta University, Kepler, Moi University, Southern New Hampshire University, York University, University of British Columbia, University of Geneva-InZone and UNHCR.
Since then, additional organizations are in the process of joining the consortium, including Kiron, INASP, Open University UK, Princeton University, and UC Davis.
Members are aligned to the Consortium’s shared framework – exhibiting a long-term commitment, and leveraging existing resources and knowledge to further the network’s goals.
Partners agreed to six specific criteria for membership:
- Must be an organisation or institution (i.e., not an individual, though individuals may be able to join as observers);
- Must have a track record in supporting and / or delivering Connected Learning in contexts of conflict, crisis and displacement;
- Must design with commitment and sustainability in mind;
- Must share values and objectives of Consortium;
- Must share information and leverage resources; and
- Must be committed to being learner-focused and accountable to needs of learners, including cost of education.
Any interested partners are requested to fill the new members form:
The Consortium acknowledges the importance of engaging a diverse group of Foundations, Governments and International institutions to shape the direction of this field, and the consortium’s work. If your organization is interested in funding the Consortium, or supporting the expansion of Connected Learning programs please contact us here.