Opening civic spaces through education for marginalized youth: Access to higher education for Rohingya students in Myanmar and Bangladesh
Programs and partnerships
For decades, the Rohingya minority in Myanmar has endured extreme marginalization and persecution. In 1982, the Citizenship Law stripped most Rohingya of their citizenship, leaving them stateless.Read more
For decades, the Rohingya minority in Myanmar has endured extreme marginalization and persecution. In 1982, the Citizenship Law stripped most Rohingya of their citizenship, leaving them stateless. They have been excluded from Myanmar's official list of 135 ethnic groups, leading to discrimination, especially in access to education. In 2017, a significant attack on the Rohingya resulted in the displacement of over half a million people to southern Bangladesh. The 2021 overthrow of Myanmar's democratically elected government has made it even more challenging for the Rohingya to establish their identity. As their prospects of returning to Myanmar remain uncertain, they seek assistance to amplify their voices within the Myanmar diaspora. Their desire for increased pathways for democratic participation in civil society (in-country and within the diaspora) is paired with a renewed focus on improving access to education, particularly higher education. Despite limited access to education within refugee camps, some Rohingya households have individuals with educational achievements. Online universities have become a lifeline for determined Rohingya youth, offering opportunities to become advocates for their community.
The Knowledge for Democracy Myanmar (K4DM) initiative, a partnership between IDRC and Global Affairs Canada, aims to empower a new generation of ethnically diverse students and researchers within the Myanmar diaspora and institutions outside the country. The effort utilizes online courses, fellowships and digital research platforms to overcome barriers to education and research.
This project aims to enhance democratic participation of the Rohingya by helping with the transition from high school to online university education. It aligns with the K4DM initiative’s goal of expanding educational access and civic participation for the Rohingya, using online training to the dispersed and marginalized community, primarily in Bangladesh. It aims to facilitate the journey from high school to university for motivated young Rohingya individuals in refugee camps in Bangladesh. It will focus on improving opportunities of 40 Rohingya students in different locations to graduate from high school and examine higher-education options.