Refugees in Uganda learn agribusiness online

Refugees in Uganda taking online Agribusiness 250 courseA group of 30 people who live in a refugee settlement in Uganda are the first to take the online Agribusiness 250 course through Education for Humanity, an initiative of Arizona State University that is offering higher education to refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Uganda and Rwanda. Education for Humanity is managed by EdPlus, the unit at ASU that creates technology and forges partnerships to develop new ways of teaching and learning. More than 68 million people are displaced around the globe, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency, and fewer than 1% have access to higher education. Education for Humanity is trying to address that need. Senior sustainability scientist Jeff Englin, a professor in the Morrison School of Agribusiness in the W. P. Carey School of Business, has been teaching Agribusiness 250, Resource Allocation: Food and Agriculture, for several years to students at ASU, where it’s popular not only with agribusiness students but also those majoring in nutrition and sustainability, he said. It’s an introductory class that covers economic principles that are important in agriculture. In many refugee communities, internet access is very limited. In Uganda, Education for Humanity is providing the course through SolarSPELL, a solar-powered, offline digital library that was invented by senior sustainability scientist Laura Hosman, an associate professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at ASU. The Education for Humanity team and others at EdPlus created technological changes on the SolarSPELL to make it possible for students to access both the digital library and the course.