DAFI has pioneered a new approach, moving beyond basic education by opening up access to tertiary education and developing highly qualified human resources in situations of displacement. This focus has lead to a wider recognition of the potential of academic education for refugees.
Since 1992, the Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Programme (DAFI, referred to by its German acronym Deutsche Akademische Flchtlingsinitiative) has provided scholarships to more than 6.000 deserving refugees worldwide to study at universities in their host country and, more recently, in their country of origin upon return.
Financed by the Government of Germany, DAFI has been and remains a unique opportunity for refugees to continue higher education while outside their country of origin.
Through scholarships for university education, DAFI contributes to the search for durable solutions for individuals of concern under UNHCRs mandate, who through this support have been enabled to provide vital support towards the reconstruction of conflict affected countries.
DAFI has pioneered a new approach, moving beyond basic education by opening up access to tertiary education and developing highly qualified human resources in situations of displacement.
This focus has lead to a wider recognition of the potential of academic education for refugees.
As the annual competition for scholarships is very high, only refugees who fulfil established criteria can be admitted to the programme.
DAFI scholarships are provided strictly for one academic year at the time. Extension is subject to demonstration of satisfactory performance and availability of funds.
Frequently asked questions about the DAFI scholarship programme:
Who can apply for DAFI?
In order to be eligible, candidates should normally meet all of the following criteria:
- be in possession of a valid refugee permit/section 24;
- have successfully completed secondary school with grades above the average standard;
- have no other means of support for tertiary education studies;
- should be below 35 years old for undergraduate studies and below 40 years old for Master’s studies;
- must be admitted at a government owned institutions for full time studies and should have obtained a letter of admission or provisional admission letter;
- study courses, such as medicine or engineering, are exceptionally granted on a case-by-case basis and normally only to students who have demonstrated outstanding academic performance.
What are the requirements and priorities in the DAFI Scholarship Programme?
- Priority is given to refugees with specific needs, such as refugees with disabilities.
- Women are encouraged to apply in order to achieve gender-balance;
- The student’s proven academic performance;
- Students who had to interrupt their studies due to flight, and who possess proof of previous university or college studies in their country of origin are encouraged to apply;
- No more than one scholarship will be provided to a single refugee family;
- Students who choose shorter and less costly courses from Government institutions with high chances of employment will receive a higher consideration in the selection;
- Students attending courses from private institutions will not be considered;
- Supporting documentation such as previous educational qualifications, a copy of valid refugee permit, letter of admission from a government institution must be attached to the DAFI application form.
Will I be entitled to a DAFI scholarship if I meet all the selection criteria?
- Due to funding constraints, the number of scholarships is limited;
- Qualified candidates who are not selected to join the DAFI programme are encouraged to take initiatives for identifying alternative sponsorships.
What are the selection procedures?
The selection process normally involves several steps:
- Applications are received up to the fixed deadline and assessed for compliance with the criteria;
- Those who meet the basic criteria are screened in line with the requirements and priorities outlined above and shortlisted;
- Shortlisted candidates are submitted by UNHCR’s Partner StudyTrust to a panel consisting of representatives from UNHCR, Deutscher Akademisher Austausch Dienst (DAAD), German Embassy, UNICEF and UNISA upon request;
- Short listed candidates are called for an interview by the panel which normally takes place in October;
- Selected candidates are informed by telephone and in writing by the end of October of the Committee’s decisions;
- The list of successful applicants for the 2018 bursary will be made available at the StudyTrust office, UNHCR offices, and at UNHCR partners’ offices (list attached).
Due to the large number of applications, StudyTrust will not be able to inform all applicants who have not been selected.
How do I apply?
What costs does the scholarship normally cover?
- Annual registration/tuition fees;
- Annual book allowance;
- A monthly subsistence allowance covering basic expenses, such as food, local travel and rent during the semester.
Late applications will not be considered.