BLESS (Building a Learning Environment for Study Success), the three-year-long cooperation between the H&M Foundation and Kiron, is in its final year and we are looking forward to many exciting initiatives designed to foster a productive and inclusive learning community. This year we are putting all our focus onto finding practical offline solutions and tightening the bonds of our student learning community.
We have been on a mission to create an innovative and supportive learning environment for students to achieve study success, facilitate efficient transfer processes, and to implement scalable activities for students worldwide. This year, we far exceeded our target of 1,000 new students using the platform due to a campaign with the Syrian Youth Assembly, but we want to go even further. With the production of new short courses and learning resources such as ‘How to Write your Job Application’, more blended learning opportunities, and a new Python course with Arabic subtitles, we have added more diversity to our courses to reach the broader interests of students. To better identify student needs and obstacles to learning, we conducted surveys with over 1,500 students. It was clear that language and offline accessibility needed to be prioritized. The launch of our Kiron Campus App was a huge step in creating a solution for students who lack computer access. With language being one of the most important tools for entering the labor market or attending a Higher Education Institution, we will start producing German language MOOCs and are in the process of translating the navigation and onboarding sections of the Campus into Arabic and Turkish. We had 25 students that already passed language tests achieving recognized certification, and with our new courses, we hope to see that number grow. With the BLESS project extended to the end of the year, we will be able to continue assessing the needs of our students and improving our language offers to bring the most benefits.
Our student community is also getting a bigger push this year. We will be hosting an online event for refugee students with interactive workshops and discussions as well as fostering joint distance learning. We have already started hosting coffee meet-ups for students – opportunities to ask questions and connect with other students during these uncertain times.
Although the project is coming to an end, more doors opened for our students in being able to better integrate themselves through language learning and accessing high-quality educational materials with limited resources. Through these improvements, we want to see more students entering the job market or the university. We will be featuring stories from successful BLESS students to support community building so look out for those coming soon. Keep up with our progress and our future initiatives by following us on social media or subscribing to our newsletter.
– in collaboration with the H&M Foundation.