PADILEIA is increasing access to higher education for refugee and disadvantaged host communities in Jordan and Lebanon through new online and blended learning programmes. Participating students can work towards micro-credentials in relevant fields and are supported with tailored student services and affordable pathways into locally-delivered formal academic qualifications.

Find out more about PADILEIA

The challenge

It is estimated that there are around 76,000 refugees aged between 18 and 25 in Lebanon and Jordan who aspire to gain access to higher education. These future students face significant barriers to higher education access, leading to a lack of transferable skills and future education pathways.

The solution

PADILEIA provides higher education opportunities to refugee communities via three learning offers:

  • One month ‘taster’ courses designed by King’s College London academics and hosted on the FutureLearn platform delivered online or in a blended manner.
  • Eight-month foundation course programmes delivered online and in study hubs, supported by Al al-Bayt University and the American University of Beirut
  • Online six to 24-month university credit bearing courses delivered online or face-to-face by Kiron 

All of these pathways include wrap-around support services such as psychosocial support, English language support, and mentoring for scholarship applications.

Through these offers, PADILEIA is increasing access to high-quality education by providing a foundation for further higher education learning. It also enables students to acquire the transferable skills they need for future work, to act as agents of change within their own communities, and to play a future role in the reconstruction of Syria.

‘Last September I attended the first class here in PADILEIA and it was very surprising. Since the first day we created policies for the whole year and determined our goals for the programme and the future by making plans on how we can get the best results from all lessons. A fantastic start made me realise how wonderful the programme is, and it was really above my expectations.’ PADILEIA student


  • More than 800,000 students worldwide participated in PADILEIA short courses
  • More than 450 students graduated from the Foundation programme
  • More than 200 mentors have been trained across Lebanon, Jordan and the UK and around 300 students benefitted from mentoring
  • More than 60 PADILEIA students have gone on to university

The partners

The PADILEIA partnership is led by King's College London (UK), working with the American University of Beirut (Lebanon), Al al-Bayt University (Jordan), Kiron Open Higher Education gGmbH (Germany) and FutureLearn (UK).

Adapting to Covid-19

Following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and related national lockdowns and university closures in Jordan and Lebanon, PADILEIA adapted its pathways to enable fully-remote, online course delivery. 

The PADILEIA team commissioned a rapid research study to capture learning from this period. We share the report with the findings of the study, which contains important lessons for anyone planning to deliver courses remotely, especially in emergency contexts. Please download the report at the bottom of this page.

See also