Around 2009-10, some of us at the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS), who were working with the Refugee Research Network (RRN) came to the realization that only about 1% of refugees located in the global South in long-term situations could access university programs and degrees. Coincidentally, Windle Trust Kenya (WIK) and the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) visited York University and the University of British Columbia to ask for assistance in the development of university programs for people living in refugee camps in Kenya.
WIK & WUSC did a cross-country tour visiting several universities and Faculties of Education. The University of Alberta was involved in the early stages of the WIK/WUSC initiative and certainly Tim Godard , then Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) was involved as well. He had gone on his own “fact finding” mission to Dadaab and created a template that became the basis for much of the BHER program planning.