The European Union (EU)-funded Language and Academic Skills and e-Learning Resources (LASER) project held its end-of-project ceremony to mark the graduation of over 250 students from Further and Higher Education courses, both online and offline. Implemented by the British Council, the project has been running since 2015, and has provided language and academic skills classes, certification, and Higher and Further Education to disadvantaged young Jordanians and Syrian refugees.
The ceremony was attended by representatives from the EU Delegation to Jordan including Sirpa Tulla, the Acting Head of Cooperation, and from the British Council, including the Deputy Director May AbuHamdia, the project partners TAGI UNI, the Open University and Khawarizmi College, and other stakeholders.
During the ceremony, the EU Acting Head of Cooperation to Jordan, Sirpa Tulla, briefed the participating students about the role that the EU plays in supporting education in Jordan and also in higher education. “The LASER project has had a transformative effect on young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by allowing them to develop their capabilities through higher education. The project also showed that digital and online learning can widen the provision of higher education for refugees and youth in host community”.
The ceremony was a chance to celebrate the achievements of students graduating from the project’s programmes. These students studied online through Talal Abu Ghazaleh and the Open University, while others have attended two-year diplomas at the Khawarizmi College.
Some students have been enrolled in the programme for five years. “I could not apply to university due to my work and the need to support my family, but now I finally finished my studies,” said Asma Hussein, a Syrian refugee who lived in the Zaatari camp. The accomplishments of the students in completing their higher and further education after such an extensive period was recognised by the EU Acting Head of Cooperation, who said “this generation is better at combining skills in areas that make a difference, namely towards employment in the digital economy”.
About the LASER project
The LASER project has supported a total of 4827 young Syrians and Jordanians in Jordan and Lebanon to enter higher education. The project consisted of two components: the first component consisted of language, academic skills and certification; while the second component consisted of online short courses with further and higher education scholarships. In total 593 students were able to access further and higher education scholarships through the project, while 4057 enrolled into language an academic skills courses, with nearly half of these students continuing onto other further and higher education opportunities within 6 months of the end of the course.
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