Providing guidance, offering support, breaking down barriers: hundreds of students throughout Germany are committed to helping refugees gain orientation at university. As part of an extensive package of measures for refugees, the DAAD has called for applications for the 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, no topic has dominated media reports quite as much as the refugee situation in Germany, Europe and countries bordering crisis areas. For years, the DAAD has provided assistance to crisis- and war-torn regions of the world in the form of scholarships and support measures for higher education projects. In the face of the refugee situation, the DAAD has taken steps to reaffirm and strengthen its commitment to refugee students. Over the past few months, the DAAD has developed programmes with funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to help refugee students integrate successfully into Germany’s higher education system and gain admission to or continue a degree programme.
The BMBF-funded programme Welcome – Students Helping Refugees aims to quickly prepare academically qualified refugees for degree programmes in Germany and help them integrate into higher education institutions and their respective cities. The programme is designed to provide long-term support to student organisations which are strongly committed to helping refugees.
The programme funds the deployment of student assistants who are involved either in student-organised projects or university-based support and integration measures targeted at academically qualified refugees (e.g. tutorials, creation of information materials, mentoring, translation, counselling, language courses). International students with relevant language skills and students with foreign experience can play an especially important role in the programme. The focus must be on activities aimed at integrating refugees into degree programmes and higher education institutions. Funding is also available for programmes that make use of the expertise of individual departments (e.g. law students who offer legal advice to refugees in special “law clinics”, psychological and social education services), provided that these activities are supervised by university instructors in the respective departments.