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IIE to Connect Refugee Students with Online Courses through New Coursera for Refugees Program

Mountain View, California, June 20, 2016—The Institute of International Education (IIE) will be in the inaugural cohort of non-profit and government organizations to participate in the new Coursera for Refugees program, launched today by the U.S. Department of State and Coursera, the largest open online education provider. Coursera for Refugees will enable an unlimited number of non-profits that work with refugees to apply for at least one year of group financial aid. Partner non-profits will be able to support refugees in quickly building career skills and gaining recognizable certificates through access to the 1,000+ Coursera courses offered by schools like Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Edinburgh, and IE Business School. Coursera for Refugees also includes organizational support services for partner non-profits, such as learner engagement data, private communication forms, and dedicated Coursera technical support.

“Our mission is to transform lives by providing access to the world’s best education,” said Lila Ibrahim, Chief Operations Officer at Coursera. “We know that one of the best ways to reach the people who need education opportunities the most is by working with organizations that understand the local needs. We’re excited to partner with these organizations including the State Department to provide refugees with comprehensive support as they take Coursera courses - at no cost - on anything from English to Python programming.”

Coursera has offered full financial aid for Course Certificates, earned upon successful course completion, since it launched its certificate program in 2013. Harvard Business Review recently published a survey revealing that 87 percent of people who completed a course on Coursera seeking career advancement reported some kind of benefit. In 2015 alone, Coursera granted over 200,000 financial aid scholarships to individuals around the world who wished to complete online courses in order to earn Course Certificates. Coursera for Refugees significantly expands Coursera’s financial aid commitment from individual learners to non-profits serving large groups of vulnerable populations in great need of high quality, career-enhancing learning opportunities.

The U.S. State Department is partnering with Coursera by providing in-person facilitation of these courses via its Embassies and Consulates. It is also helping identify potential partner organizations that directly support refugee communities around the world. This initiative builds upon the State Department's MOOC Camps, which are run by U.S. Embassies and Consulates and are a part of Coursera’s Learning Hubs network. The State Department’s blended learning programs are currently offered in more than 65 countries and reach over 4,500 people.

“We are excited to partner with Coursera on this important initiative to expand learning opportunities for refugees,” said Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan. “Over the last three years, the State Department and Coursera have provided educational opportunities to thousands of individuals around the world. Coursera for Refugees builds on our work to help people succeed in the global economy.”

The inaugural non-profit and government organizations that have been accepted to use Coursera for Refugees are the U.S. Department of State, Samaschool in Jordan and Kenya, Libraries Without Borders, Blue Rose Compass, and Institute of International Education (IIE). Hundreds of non-profits with the 501(c)(3) code or international equivalent will be eligible to join this group following the launch today of Coursera for Refugees.“Providing refugees with educational opportunities is a long-term investment in peace and stability,” said Allan Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education (IIE). “Through our new collaboration with Coursera for Refugees, we will scale-up our efforts in Jordan by identifying 100 refugee students to participate in Coursera courses so that they can gain new skills to become productive members of their new communities and to rebuild their home countries when they can return.”

Non-profits will be able to choose from over 1,000 live courses and Specializations (series of courses) on Coursera including:

Career Success (University of California, Irvine)

English for Business & Entrepreneurship (University of Pennsylvania)

Excel to MySQL: Analytic Techniques for Business (Duke University)

Full Stack Web Development (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Hotel Management (ESSEC Business School)

Interviewing and Resume Writing in English (University of Maryland)

Java Programming (Duke University)

Marketing Mix Implementation (IE Business School)

Python for Everybody (University of Michigan)

Speak English Professionally: In Person, Online & On the Phone (Georgia Institute of Technology)

To find out more about how to apply for Coursera for Refugees, visit https://refugees.coursera.org/.


About the Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,400 member institutions.

About Coursera

Coursera is an online education company that serves over 19 million registered learners by partnering with 140 of the world’s best universities and education institutions. On Coursera, anyone, anywhere can access over 1,000 online courses and Specializations in dozens of fields in order to achieve meaningful career, educational, and personal enrichment goals throughout their lives.

For more information, visit www.coursera.org.

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Sharon Witherell
Director, Public Affairs
Tel: +1 212.984.5380
E-mail: switherell@iie.org

Shana Childs
Public Affairs
Tel: +1 212.984.5360
E-mail: schilds@iie.org

About IIE

Founded in 1919, the Institute of International Education (IIE) is a world leader in international education, training and exchange. Our mission is to advance international education and access to education worldwide.

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