Bonn, 11.11.2016. A total of 221 Syrian students with a scholarship of the “Leadership for Syria” programme started to study at a German university in the winter semester 2015/16. The programme is run by the DAAD with funds from the Federal Foreign Office and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Master degree students and doctoral candidates are obliged to take part in a supporting programme designed to familiarise them with social, political, academic and economic structures of free democratic legal systems. The University of Konstanz has been selected by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to conduct the blended learning programme for its scholarship holders. Irrespective of the degree subject studied, the 2-semester course teaches skills and competencies required for future reconstruction of the country.

Bonn, 24.10.2016. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The aim is to create new prospects for Syrian refugees through access to higher education in the MENA region and Turkey. DAAD, the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the 'Madad Fund' and UNHCR are working together to pool their capacities to reach a higher impact for their HOPES project (DAAD) and the DAFI (UNHCR) scholarship program.

The number of refugees wishing to study in Germany is increasing. This poses new challenges for universities and associations for student affairs. Despite many years of experience in the integration of international students, specific questions naturally arise with regard to refugees.

Bonn/Berlin, 11.10.2016. About 450 initiatives at 162 universities throughout Germany: through the “Welcome” programme of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung – BMBF) is currently financing student initiatives all over Germany, which are dedicated to refugees at their universities. The initiatives cover a wide range of services such as legal advice for refugees, language teaching or practical assistance in everyday university life. Previously limited to this year, the programme will be extended to the end of 2018.

Düsseldorf/Bonn, 04/09/2016. The integration model for refugees at universities in NRW, "NRWege ins Studium", has been fast-tracked. The NRW Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research and the State Rectors' Conferences had presented the programme's key elements in April. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is responsible for organisation and implementation. Since 1st September, 34 state and state-refinanced universities in North Rhine-Westphalia have been able to apply to the DAAD for additional funding for purposes of advice and counselling as well as study preparation and study-related measures. The projects are due to start in 2017.