Tertiary Education for Refugees: A Case Study from the Thai-Burma Border


  • Duncan MacLaren Australian Catholic University




Thai-Burmese border, Thailand, Burmese refugees, Australian Catholic University, refugee youth, tertiary education


The Australian Catholic University (ACU) has, since 2003, been involved in providing tertiary education for young refugees who have fled persecution in Burma to end up in refugee camps in Thailand. This paper examines the origins of the program, the changes made as lessons are learned, and the current Diploma program which is also supported by three US universities and York University in Toronto. It also examines how past graduates have used their qualifications for the common good, a term derived from Catholic social thought which informs ACU’s specific Catholic identity as a university. The paper further looks at what challenges lie ahead within the Thai-Burmese context and how this model can be replicated in other protracted refugee situations.


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How to Cite

MacLaren, D. (2012). Tertiary Education for Refugees: A Case Study from the Thai-Burma Border. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 27(2), 103–110. https://doi.org/10.25071/1920-7336.34727

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