The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the aim of creating new education prospects for Syrian refugees through access to higher education in the MENA region and Turkey. Both organisations have agreed to pool their capacities in order to improve the prospects for projects which they already have running (for details, see below).
The EU-funded HOPES project targets Syrian refugees who are eligible to study in Lebanon, Jordan, Northern Iraq, Egypt and Turkey. Scholarships will be provided in order to enable them to take up or complete higher education. In addition to scholarships for refugees there are also scholarships available to students from the host countries. There are 400-600 scholarships available to be awarded over the lifespan of the project up until the end of 2019.
Since the beginning of the DAFI (Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative) program in 1992, the UNHCR has awarded more than 8,000 university scholarships, primarily to undergraduate refugee students in the country of first asylum. In the light of the civil war in Syria, the German Foreign Ministry–also the main donor for the DAFI programme–has announced the provision of additional DAFI scholarships for Syrian refugees in the region.
Coordination between HOPES and DAFI has intensified considerably since the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding in June. With UNHCR offering to make use of already existing structures, the DAAD was able to reach a quick first impact with the HOPES project and enable students to start or continue their studies already in the upcoming fall semester.
DAAD: Higher and Further Education Opportunities and Perspectives for Syrians (HOPES), funded by the EU.
UNHCR: Deutsche Akademische Flüchtlingsinitiative Albert Einstein / Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative (DAFI)
Photo credit: http://www.colourbox.com. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).