The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) are expanding their support for Afghan students and researchers with funding from the Federal Foreign Office. The DAAD can initially use four million euros for this purpose, the AvH one million euros.
"The situation in Afghanistan is desolate and extremely bleak. Students and researchers both in the country and Afghan refugees in Germany urgently need additional perspectives. It is therefore very gratifying when we can now expand our efforts for these people together with the Humboldt Foundation and funded by the Federal Foreign Office," said DAAD President Prof. Dr Joybrato Mukherjee.
"Germany is committed to academic freedom worldwide and provides a safe haven for researchers under threat. In Afghanistan, this threat is particularly great. In our division of labour with the DAAD, we are happy to be able to make a specific offer of support to Afghan researchers with funding from the Federal Foreign Office," said AvH President Prof. Dr Hans-Christian Pape.
Philipp Schwartz Initiative and Hilde Domin Programme
Both organisations will use part of the money to expand their existing and successful programmes for students, doctoral candidates and researchers at risk. For example, the DAAD is planning a special quota for Afghanistan for its Hilde Domin Programme for refugee and persecuted students and doctoral candidates. In the coming year, around 30 additional fellowships are to be awarded for this purpose.
The Humboldt Foundation has so far been able to sponsor more than 300 endangered researchers within the framework of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative, including one Afghan researcher. In response to the crisis situation, it has made more flexible nomination conditions possible for Afghan researchers who are acutely at risk. There are currently ten nominations.
New bridge scholarships
With new, so-called bridge scholarships, qualified Afghans - after their arrival in Germany - are also to receive an additional offer to build or expand an academic career. To this end, the DAAD is initially planning to award around 60 bridge scholarships, including family allowances, in the coming year, primarily to Afghan students who are already enrolled at German universities or have been promised a place at a university.
The Humboldt Foundation is planning around 20 one-year bridge sponsorship programmes for academics at risk. These sponsorship awards are intended to enable them to initiate and prepare future prospects at German universities and research institutions in safety and with the support of their academic hosts. The funding includes family-related benefits and funds for further linguistic and professional qualification.