Blended Learning in Refugee Education: An Interim Report on the Foundations for All Project in Kampala and Kiryandongo, Uganda

Nanyunja, Sandra; Akello, Martha; Egwalu, Robert; Kompogo, Mary; Lugala, Cosmos; Mulondo, Apollo; El-Amine, Brooke Atherton; Symons, Kate; Cole, Georgia; Miranda, Juan-José and Gallagher, Michael (2022). Blended Learning in Refugee Education: An Interim Report on the Foundations for All Project in Kampala and Kiryandongo, Uganda. In: e-Infrastructure and e-Services for Developing Countries. AFRICOMM 2021 (Sheikh, Y. H.; Rai, I. A. and Bakar, A. D. eds.), Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering,, Springer, Cham., pp. 510–526.



This paper presents interim findings from the Foundations for All pilot. Foundations for All is a blended learning bridging program aimed at supporting refugee students and disadvantaged members of the host community in two Ugandan locations to access higher education. Through discussing the Foundations for All pilot’s teaching and learning design, multi-partner collaboration, use of technology, emphasis on a psychosocial support model, and learner-centred curriculum, we offer relevant practical perspectives applicable to using blended learning in teaching in emergency contexts like the Covid-19 global pandemic, as well as situations of conflict and displacement. Our interim findings contribute to practice through making concrete recommendations for other institutions wishing to embark on a similar model. We contribute to research by proposing a distinction between ‘thick’ models of refugee access programmes which offer blended or online content along with substantial psychosocial and other support, interaction with specialist tutors, contextually-relevant learning design and content, accessible technology and learning centres and financial support, along with meaningful exit pathways for students, against ‘thin’ models which offer curated online content for free to refugees without the additional support. A further contribution outlined in the paper is the role which expert psychosocial support can play in enhancing refugee learners’ engagement with teaching.

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