In recent years the number of students from refugee backgrounds has been steadily increasing in Western Australian universities (Earnest, Housen & Gilleatt, 2007). With the attendant progressive rise in the proportion of students from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, it is evident that different pedagogical approaches and new teaching and learning resources are needed to facilitate the learning and socio-cultural adaptations these students must make to engage with their courses of study and university life in the current Australian context (Tinto, 2005; Anderson et al., 2004).
This Australian Teaching and Learning Council funded project; ‘Life: Learning Interactively for Engagement: meeting the pedagogical needs of students from refugee backgrounds’ was undertaken at Curtin and Murdoch Universities in Western Australia. The project developed innovative teaching and learning programs designed to meet the particular needs of students from refugee backgrounds to engage with university learning. Murdoch and Curtin Universities have collaborated to create flexible and modular programs that specifically address the needs of students from refugee backgrounds.