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Providing higher education to refugees

Project time period


For refugees arriving in a new country, finding a job is everything. Without a job, the process of building a new life is extremely difficult. However, the process of seeking asylum can take years, a time where most refugees can’t do anything but wait. They can’t work, study or start building new lives in their new country. Together with Kiron Open Higher Education, the H&M Foundation worked to increase access to higher education opportunities for refugees in Germany.

Less than 1% of refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people have access to higher education. Even though many are motivated to continue or begin their education to increase their chances of getting a job, due to obstacles such as language barriers, missing legal documents, and financing, it’s not always possible to do so. Kiron offers an online university platform which enables refugees, who are often on the move and whose futures are uncertain, the opportunity to start studying irrespective of their location or asylum status.

Less than 1%

of refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people have access to higher education.

Through our project, Kiron created an innovative and supportive on- and off-line learning environment on their platform to enhance the student’s chances to succeed with their studies.

The project implemented an online system to track student’s progress, developed free online education materials and created a motivational online student community. This was combined with a broad range of offline support functions, such as live tutoring, support with language certificate funding, and a summer school for female students.

The project supported Kiron students to apply to partner universities, where they could finish their studies and graduate with an accredited university degree.

Project Specifics

  • Total Donation: 7.5 million SEK
  • Program Period: 20172020
  • Project Status: Completed
  • Countries: Germany
  • Focus Areas: Equality
  • Partners: Kiron Open Higher Education


  • 3.000 students were reached though project activities.
  • 54 students were supported with language certificate funding.