The MIT ReACT Certificate Program is part of the MIT ReACT Hub, an initiative that was launched in May 2017 when the challenge of refugee education was presented at MIT SOLVE. Professor Admir Masic and now Vice Chancellor Ian Waitz championed the creation of a center at MIT to design and deploy new learning opportunities for displaced populations around the world. Driven by his own experience as a refugee, Prof. Masic has inspired a collection of related projects to come together as a community to address this growing crisis. Their initiative was quickly supported by the leadership of Hala Fadel, Thomas Ermacora, and Riccardo Sabatini. The MIT Enterprise Forum Pan-Arab Region is ReACT’s inaugural Seed Partner and serves as its logistics support.
With 65.3 million forcibly displaced people around the world, there has never been a greater need for the kind of globally focused educational innovation that is MIT's hallmark. MIT's strengths in research and hands-on problem solving; our extensive international footprint and close relationships with industry; and our large and passionate interdisciplinary community of faculty and students already working on issues around the refugee crisis have put the Institute in a unique and powerful position to not only impact the lives of those who have been displaced, but to fuel regional and global economic growth, innovation, and political and social stability.
In January 2018, MIT ReACT Hub launched its first program in Jordan with a certificate in Computer and Data Science. The first class of students is preparing the complete the program in January 2019 with a graduation ceremony during the MITEF Finals in Amman. Their successes and lessons learnt along the way have prepared ReACT to launch a new application process for the CDSP beginning 1 September 2018. ReACT DEDP MicroMasters Launch.
In June 2018 MIT ReACT Hub was proud to launch a new collaboration with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) around the MITx MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP). The ReACT track within the DEDP MicroMasters will offer a blended model specifically designed to meet the needs of refugees and other displaced persons, by offering online instruction, in-person workshops, and paid internships. It is our goal to use these program features to enable refugee learners to advance both their education and professional career in an accessible and affordable manner. The ReACT program will also support course fees within the DEDP MicroMasters program for the accepted learners who are interested in developing a strong understanding of data analysis, microeconomics, and development policy. Starting in the summer of 2018, ReACT will sponsor a group of refugee students within the DEDP Program, providing selected refugee learners with access to (1) the five online DEDP MicroMasters courses, (2) in-person workshop sessions on entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership, and (3) paid internships with top organizations in the field.
Applications for the 2018-2019 ReACT track in the DEDP MicroMasters are now closed. The accepted students are now working through the 5-course curriculum.