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.
UNHCR DAFI Scholarship Programme
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 aims to encourage the development of qualified human resources who contribute to their family and host or home country communities’ self-reliance, thereby supporting greater peace and stability in the region.
UNHCR DAFI Scholarship Eligibility
In order to be eligible, a candidate must:
- be a refugee with recognised refugee status;
- have successfully completed secondary schooling to a high standard;
- have no other means of support for university studies;
- select a course of study that is likely to lead to employment in the country of origin with maximum three to four years duration;
- not be older than 28 years at the beginning of studies;
- have no other family member receiving a DAFI scholarship.
- Sub-Sahara Africa: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia & Zimbabwe.
- Middle East & Northern Africa (MENA): Algeria, Egypt, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Syria & Yemen.
- Asia & Pacific: Bangladesh, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan &Tajikistan.
- The Americas: Ecuador.
- Europe: Azerbaijan, Russian Federation, Turkey & Ukraine.
Selection Criteria: The DAFI Programme is targeting socio-economically disadvantaged and academically deserving refugee students in the first country of asylum. Priority will be given to:
- 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;
- qualified refugees who have no means of financial support for university studies, or who are excluded from application for scholarships available to nationals;
- refugee students who have proficiency in the language commonly taught at universities or colleges in their country of asylum;
- 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;
- 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:
- individuals with special needs, such as physical disabilities;
- students’ commitment to community support, voluntary work etc.
- fair distribution of scholarships among urban and camp-based refugees
- ethnic and religious diversity
Selection committees can agree/ prioritise a country specific selection criteria in accordance with the DAFI Guidelines.
Worth of Scholarships
Undergraduate refugee students are provided with scholarships that cover a wide range of costs, from tuition fees and study materials, to food, transport, accommodation and other allowances. 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 mentoring and networking opportunities.
Duration of Programme: 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.
How to Apply for UNHCR DAFI Scholarship
Complete the application form and submit as indicated on the form.
For more information, visit the UNHCR DAFI Scholarship.
Application Deadline: 30th June 2019