Welcome – Students Helping Refugees

Thomas Bernhardt Fotografie

Providing orientation, overcoming barriers, offering assistance: hundreds of students throughout Germany are committed to ensuring refugees get off to a good start at German universities. As part of an extensive package of measures for refugees, the DAAD issued a call for applications for its new programme “Welcome – Students Helping Refugees”, financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The DAAD is currently funding 162 Welcome projects.


In recent months, almost no other topic has dominated the media as much as the refugee situation in Germany, Europe and countries neighbouring crisis regions. The DAAD has been operating successfully in crisis areas and conflict zones around the world for many years now, providing scholarships and supporting various higher education projects. This commitment has been challenged and reinforced in light of the refugee situation. Over recent months, the DAAD has used funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to develop programmes that give refugee students the opportunity to integrate successfully into the German higher education system and take up or continue academic studies.

Programme objectives

The aim of the programme Welcome – Students Helping Refugees, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is to give refugees with academic ability the opportunity to quickly prepare for a degree programme in Germany and become integrated into the university town and the university itself. The programme is intended to provide long-term support for the high level of commitment shown by students towards refugees.

Through the programme, funding is provided for the work of student assistants, who are involved either in initiatives organised by student groups or in the advisory and integration services for academically able refugees organised by the universities themselves (e.g. tutorials, creating information materials, mentoring, translation, guidance, language courses). International students with the relevant language skills and students with experience of living abroad are particularly useful within the programme. The focus must be on activities aimed at integrating refugees into higher education programmes and universities. It is also possible to support initiatives in which the expertise of individual departments is used (e.g. legal advice for refugees provided by students in law clinics, psychological and social education services) as long as these measures are professionally supervised by university teaching staff from the respective department.

Call for applications

If we have sparked your interest in our Welcome funding programme, please follow the link below to our call for applications and the measures it includes. Please note that no date has been set as yet for the next application round.

Analysen & Studien - Verbleib Ausländische Studierende

Funded projects and participating partners


A list of the universities currently participating in the programme and the corresponding profiles are available at the following links.

  • list universities currently participating in the programme.


German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Higher Education Programmes for Refugees – P15
Katharina Fourier
Head of Section
Tel.: +49 228 882 259
Email: fourier@daad.de

Further information

Everyday heroes – these are the people working in the student initiatives funded under the Welcome programme. Read the impressive accounts of the voluntary workers on our Engagement and volunteering page.

Everything you need to know about DAAD funding opportunities relating to refugees in higher education can be found on our website.

Funded by

Logo Bmbf Eng 260x147