Higher Education at the Margins
Courtesy: Jesuit Refugee Service

Regis University celebrates graduation of first African refugees from innovative program

An international effort to empower refugee populations through education is being cheered around the globe for its latest success. Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins, a global partnership that delivers Jesuit higher education to those at the margins of society, has awarded diplomas from Regis University to its first group of graduates.

Graduation ceremonies were held this fall in Kakuma refugee camp in northwestern Kenya and Dzaleka refugee camp in central Malawi. Dr. Patricia Ladewig, Regis University provost, presided at both ceremonies and described them as joyous celebrations.

“I was warmly welcomed by our graduates and their families and came away so impressed by the quality of the students and their dedication to their studies,” she said.

All total, 52 refugees were awarded diplomas in liberal studies. Hundreds more students in Jordan, Kenya and Malawi are in the process of completing the program’s online course work to follow in the graduates’ footsteps.

Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins has come together through the efforts of Jesuit and non-Jesuit institutional partners, as well as international organizations like the Jesuit Refugee Service, whose mission is to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons.

Besides being the diploma-granting institution, Regis has been instrumental in the program’s development and operation. Faculty helped drive curriculum development and have helped teach many of the online courses. Ultimately, the innovative initiative aims to offer a transformational experience to individuals who’ve endured great trauma and to position them to move their communities forward.

To learn more about the recent graduation ceremonies, the program and its future, read the following article written by The Denver Post.