About OUR

OUR is founded as an independent regional initiative in 2015 in Singapore. It was registered as an Incorporated Charity Organization (ICO) in UK between 2017-2020. It continued its activities as a Program under Centre for Asia and Pacific Refugee Studies (CAPRS), University of Auckland between 2020-2022. Currently it runs its activities as an independent global initiative.


Vision: Inclusive Higher Education

OUR envisions a world where every refugee has equal access to higher education, empowering them to rebuild their lives, unlock their full potential, and contribute to the betterment of their communities and the global society.


  • OUR’s mission is to facilitate and advocate for accessible higher education opportunities for refugees worldwide. Through strategic partnerships, innovative programs, and community engagement, we aim to break down barriers, provide comprehensive support, and foster a welcoming environment that nurtures academic excellence, personal growth, and intercultural understanding among refugee students.
  • We are committed to enhancing refugee self-reliance by equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to rebuild their lives and contribute positively to society. We seek to empower refugees to become self-sufficient and independent individuals.
  • We strive to expand access to third-country solutions, creating pathways for refugee students to pursue higher education beyond their host countries. By working with universities and academic institutions in various countries, we aim to offer diverse opportunities for refugees to continue their education and access new possibilities for their future.

Through these efforts, OUR aspires to transform the lives of refugees by providing them with the tools and opportunities to thrive academically, professionally, and personally, leading to a brighter and more hopeful future for them and their communities.

Core Values:

  1. Inclusivity and Accessibility: We embrace and celebrate the diversity of individuals and communities, ensuring everyone feels valued and respected in our programs. We are dedicated to breaking down barriers and providing accessible opportunities for all, regardless of their background or circumstances.
  2. Empowerment: We are dedicated to empowering individuals with the skills and knowledge they need to achieve their full potential and positively impact their lives.
  3. Collaboration: We believe in the power of partnerships and collaborative efforts to create meaningful and sustainable change for the betterment of society. Together, we work towards increasing accessibility and inclusivity in all aspects of our initiatives.
  4. Integrity: We uphold the highest standards of integrity, honesty, and transparency in all our actions and decisions.
  5. Innovation: We constantly seek innovative solutions and approaches to address complex challenges and improve the effectiveness of our initiatives, including those focused on enhancing accessibility.
  6. Compassion: We approach our work with empathy and compassion, recognizing the unique struggles and experiences of those we serve. We prioritize accessibility in our programs to ensure that our services are available to all in need.
  7. Sustainability: We are committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability and impact of our programs, benefiting current and future generations. This includes fostering accessible solutions that endure and support individuals from all walks of life.

Strategic Goals:

  1. Partner with universities and academic institutions to establish scholarship programs specifically designed for refugee students.
  2. Develop and implement support services, such as bridging courses, mentorship, and counselling, to ensure the academic success and well-being of refugee students.
  3. Raise awareness about the importance of higher education for refugees via creative artistic projects.
  4. Establish regional and international networks to share best practices and collaborate on innovative solutions for higher education access.
  5. Secure funding and resources to sustain and expand OUR's initiatives and reach more refugee students around the world.
  6. Foster strong partnerships with governments, NGOs, and corporations to advocate for policies that support refugees' right to education and the recognition of their qualifications.
  7. Partner with institutions, which conduct research and collect data to better understand the challenges faced by refugee students and use this knowledge to inform policy recommendations.

Our People

Director: Amna Shah
Founder: Gül İnanç

Since its foundation following people have contributed to OUR’s activities in different capacities as volunteers: Neil Sparnon (Foundation) , Graham Orpwood, Ben Curtis, Rez Gardi, Nicky Wilkinson, Michael Walsh (as Board members ), Audrey Hudgins (Evaluation Report) , Arash Bordbar and Zaana Hall ( 3C Forum organizations in Australia, Hong Kong and Indonesia), HuiWen Wong (IT &Web Design).

News & Media

[1] “The role of complementary higher education pathways for refugees,” THE Campus Learn, Share, Connect, Jun. 29, 2022. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/campus/role-complementary-higher-education-pathways-refugees (accessed Aug. 11, 2023).

[2] "CERTE: Empowering Refugee Education - A Shining Example of Good Practice in UNHCR's Global Compact on Refugees". Connecting refugees with Higher Education | The Global Compact on Refugees | UNHCR (accessed Aug. 11, 2023).

The course has been developed by volunteers and universities in the country with support from the Opening Universities for Refugees (OUR), local non-profits, refugee community learning centres and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Malaysia.

[3] "Unraveling the Higher Education Labyrinth: Empowering Refugee Learners in Peninsular Malaysia - A Profound Analysis by Joshua Yee Aung Low, featuring Insights from Visionary Dr Gul Inanc". The Higher Education Labyrinth for Refugee Learners in Peninsular Malaysia – New Naratif (accessed Aug. 11, 2023).

[4] TEDx Talks, “Opening Universities for Refugees | Gül İnanç | TEDxNTU, Singapore,” YouTube. Accessed: Aug. 11, 2023. [Online]. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vkAAw1Qkw4

OUR Work

3C Forums



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