Global Survey of Academic Freedom Issues in 2015 [Post 14 of a Series]

ACADEME BLOG

Continental Europe

In 2015, as the influx of refugees into Europe began to reach crisis proportions, Markus Kressler and Juan David Mendieta co-founded Kiron University, an institution exclusively available to refugees. The two major issues for the university’s potential students were access and funding. The issue of access was addressed by making the university entirely online. The issue of cost was addressed by initiating a crowd-funding campaign, by enlisting more than 100 volunteer fund-raisers and instructors, and by drawing upon available online courses: “Kiron uses courses put online by existing universities–including Harvard, Yale, Cambridge and MIT–to provide courses in engineering, computer science, business administration, architecture and intercultural studies. The courses are certified by the European Credit Transfer System, making each degree program internationally recognized” (Heilpern). However, that’s not to say Kiron does not have input in its degree programs. The university produces its own learning materials, third-party content and e-learning…

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