Open Universities for Refugees (OUR)

Open Universities for Refugees (OUR) is an independent initiative to build knowledge networks and consortia to offer higher education to communities in need.

OUR is designed to help meet the higher educational needs of communities in protracted refugee/displacement situations globally.

By using technology and fostering a culture of institutional openness and inclusion, OUR aims to harness the expertise of higher education institutions to transcend existing borders of knowledge sharing and hitherto impermeable geo-cultural boundaries.

Through the provision of higher education, OUR seeks to restore the dignity and hope of communities in crisis.

The Open Universities for Refugees initiative:

  • seeks to enhance international awareness and understanding of the need to contribute to the higher
    education of refugees and displaced peoples;
  • brings together institutions which offer, or are willing to offer, higher education courses and/or diploma and certificate programs to refugees and displaced peoples;
  • offers a model for self-selecting organizations, institutions, foundations and individuals to network,
    share their expertise, reflect, develop best practice and collaborate systematically to identify and offer
    appropriate higher education opportunities to the individuals and communities who need them most;
  • builds projects to utilize existing and emerging knowledge systems to address common
    fundamental-foundation stone issues and simultaneously offer site specific relevance.

OUR Foundation Stone issues are:

  • What knowledge do we Need about the nature and level of education currently?
  • What Academic Activities will address this need?
  • What Support Infrastructures must be in place to deliver these activities?
  • What Resources are needed to deliver these activities?


The OUR initiative facilitates the creation of new knowledge networks by bringing together interested organisations from diverse global networks. Using an unConference/Open Space Technologies approach it builds new higher education consortia to meet provide higher education opportunities to those who have none.

OUR is a non-profit and a for-humanitarian-purpose initiative.

OUR is a member of INEE and APRRN.

There is so much to be done, so much we can do - this is in OUR responsibility