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Giving back, in partnership with RefuAid

Students, laughing together

We know that education can open doors to new opportunities, a better job and a better life. Throughout our 80-year history, we’ve been a leader in expanding educational access, and giving back is a key part of our culture.

Recently, through our work with RefuAid, we’ve been helping to upskill and develop those who have experienced forced migration.

As stated on their website, RefuAid are a charity who offer ‘a practical response’ to those in need, be that through providing access to: language tuition, education, finance or meaningful employment.

We work with people. All people. Regardless of nationality, religion or political affiliation.

- RefuAid

They offer solutions to the challenges refugees face once they are given the opportunity to restart their life in the UK. This is reflected in their official stated values and concerns: ‘There are few initiatives successfully providing long-term solutions to forced migration, meaning those forced to flee end up dependent on aid and handouts’.

RefuAid focus on 3 main areas: finance and re-qualification, language tuition and specialist employment advice.

We started our association with RefuAid through the English language courses we offer at Kaplan International.

Progressing to Kaplan Financial

After the working relationship was established, Kaplan Financial started to get involved. A number of RefuAid clients/students were showing an interest in pursuing a career in accountancy, so it felt natural to offer them accountancy training.

The courses offered to these students are complimentary, and we offer extra support through our Progression Advisors to help with structure and well-being.

So far we have welcomed 2 RefuAid students into our accountancy programme. Despite coming from very challenging circumstances, they have responded fantastically.

Their stories

For the sake of anonymity, we will call this first student Sam.

Sam came to the UK from Palestine, where he was a qualified solicitor. Due to circumstances beyond his control he had to leave and start life all over again.

Given his previous qualifications, he was looking to continue as a solicitor. But he started to develop an interest in finance and accountancy after experiencing elements of it through his exposure to property tax.

Because I’m a refugee in the UK it is like starting from scratch. RefuAid helped me learn English at first and then I reviewed the options that were available

- Sam, RefuAid and Kaplan student.

Now, well into his ACCA qualification, Sam is passing his exams with flying colours. He cruised through his Applied Knowledge level and is now studying Performance Management for the Applied Skills level. 

He is now looking beyond his studies and dreams of potentially becoming a forensic accountant. This is quite some journey in such a short space of time.

I didn’t think this would be possible. I couldn’t even imagine it. Kaplan has made me feel special.

- Sam

Jon’s story

Originally from Russia, Jon is a determined character.

Already part way through his AAT qualification when starting out with Kaplan, he wanted to study AAT Professional level and begin his ACCA qualification at the same time.

Jon has gotten a lot out of his experience studying, thanks to RefuAid and Kaplan, and states that he ‘admire(s) Kaplan for the opportunity’ and expresses his fondness for OnDemand.

I love using OnDemand, it’s the best study method for me. It’s flexible and I can study whenever I want.

- Jon, Kaplan and RefuAid student.

Like Sam, Jon’s study momentum has allowed him to look to the future positively. In 1-2 years he sees himself becoming an accountant and possibly moving into taxation.

This is some turnaround given that he only moved to the UK in 2016.

Progression Advisors

Our Progression Advisors are there to meet the student demand for one-on-one coaching. They offer support and facilitate study progress.

Both students are grateful for the Progression Advisor they have worked with. This relationship has been essential for their progress.

Their Progression Advisor, Nidaa Qureshi, has seen their development since day 1, and is delighted with what she sees.

They are both taking to it really well, they’re so strong willed. Their determination makes them so easy to work with.

- Nidaa Qureshi, Progression Advisor.


There are countless other potential students, who could benefit from this kind of extra support. If your company is in a strong position to support RefuAid’s cause then do visit their site.

These stories prove it’s possible to make a difference.