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UNHCR Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative (DAFI) Scholarship Programme 2020 for Undergraduate Refugee Students

UNHCR’s scholarship programme, the Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative (DAFI), enables access to higher education for refugee students in their country of asylum since 1992.

The granting of scholarships is limited to students contemplating undergraduate courses of four or fewer years’ duration, with high probability of employment. As funding is limited, and the programme seeks to offer as many scholarships as possible, full length university courses in medicine and similar courses will normally not be entertained. On an exceptional basis, scholarships can be granted, if refugees had to interrupt their education in their country of origin, require assistance for four years or less to complete their education in the country of asylum, and who are able to provide credible records of their previous studies.

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About UNHCR Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative

The DAFI (Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative) scholarship programme offers refugee students the possibility to pursue an undergraduate degree in their country of asylum. Through the dedicated support of the German Government, and additional private donors, the programme has supported over 12,000 young refugees since 1992. The purpose of the DAFI Programme is to maintain and strengthen the level of capacity of refugees, enabling them to become more self-reliant and to actively contribute to the development of both refugee and host communities. More generally, the DAFI Programme... read more


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DAFI Undergraduate Scholarship


Aim and Benefits of DAFI Undergraduate Scholarship

The DAFI programme provides undergraduate refugee students with scholarships that cover a wide range of costs: from tuition fees and study materials, to food, transport and accommodation.

To support their academic achievements and skill development, DAFI scholars receive additional support through close monitoring, academic preparatory and language classes based on students’ needs, as well as psychosocial support, mentoring and networking opportunities.


Requirements for DAFI Undergraduate Scholarship Qualification

  1. be a refugee with recognised refugee status;
  2. have successfully completed secondary schooling to a high standard;
  3. have no other means of support for university studies;
  4. select a course of study that is likely to lead to employment in the country of origin with maximum three to four years duration;
  5. not be older than 28 years at the beginning of studies;
  6. have no other family member receiving a DAFI scholarship.

Checkout: 20 How To Study Abroad Frequently Asked Questions

Interview date, Process and Venue for DAFI Undergraduate Scholarship

The DAFI Programme is targeting socio-economically disadvantaged and academically deserving refugee students in the first country of asylum. Priority will be given to:

  1. students who had to interrupt their studies due to displacement, and who possess proof of previous university or college studies in their country of origin;
  2. qualified refugees who have no means of financial support for university studies, or who are excluded from application for scholarships available to nationals;
  3. refugee students who have proficiency in the language commonly taught at universities or colleges in their country of asylum;
  4. students who interrupted their DAFI scholarship in the country of asylum due to repatriation to the country of origin. Subject to prevailing conditions and available funds, these students may be supported to continue and/or complete their studies in their country of origin;
  5. students who choose shorter and inexpensive courses with high chances of employment (such as computer studies, paramedical and teaching professions, etc).

Other protection related aspects taken into account throughout the selection are:

  1. gender-balance
  2. individuals with special needs, such as physical disabilities;
  3. students’ commitment to community support, voluntary work etc.
  4. fair distribution of scholarships among urban and camp-based refugees
  5. ethnic and religious diversity

Selection committees can agree/ prioritise a country specific selection criteria in accordance with the DAFI Guidelines.Completed applications should be submitted by 30 June 2019 to UNHCR office. The date of the interview will be communicated to the pre-selected applicants.


Documents Required for Application

  1. Letter of motivation explaining your motivation to study, professional aspirations, and plans for the future; how your personal, family, and/or social situation make you suited for and deserving of the scholarship; any specific details concerning your situation such as the lack of documentation and certificates. The letter should be no longer than 500 words and written in the language of instruction of your programme of study.
  2. One completed and signed application form
  3. Two passport photos, with your name on the back stapled to your application form
  4. Copy of UNHCR refugee certificate or FACT SHEET  [where applicable]
  5. Copy of registration with the national authorities [where applicable] showing international protection status (refugee or asylum seeker)
  6. Copy of your high school transcripts and diploma or certification of completion (if issued in another country, transcript should be validated by the Ministry of Education certifying recognition of the diploma)
  7. If you have previously been enrolled in higher education, copy of transcript of prior learning or credit completed.
  8. If you have already been admitted or enrolled in a higher education institution in your first country of asylum, submit record of enrolment or letter of acceptance/admission  [where applicable]


Application Deadline

June 30, 2019


How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to UNHCR Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative on data2.unhcr.org to apply
  1. Check in the list above if there is a current DAFI Programme in your country of asylum.
  2. Check if you meet the above-mentioned criteria.
  3. You can contact the respective office by emailing your country of interest in the following contact form.
  4. Complete the country specific application form and submit as indicated on the form.

Read Also: Top 20 Reasons To Study Abroad
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