Since 2020, the University of Paderborn has been offering financial and non-material support to refugee students with the "NRWege" scholarship of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The first eleven scholarship holders have now successfully completed the program - more than at any other German university. Two of them were now able to receive their scholarship certificates in person at a ceremonial handover.
"We started with the first special programs and language courses for refugee students back in 2015. Through the state-wide integration program 'NRWege ins Studium' we were able to additionally expand this offer. The fact that you are now standing here and have even successfully completed your studies at the University of Paderborn in some cases makes the success of these measures visible," said Stefan Schwan, Head of the International Office, happily when handing over the scholarship certificates to Michil Nono and Obada Obaid. Every year, nearly 300,000 euros flow into programs for refugee students and prospective students at the University of Paderborn. "The situation is still very difficult in some countries today, so it continues to be an important task for us to help people find a new home and gain a foothold in the region," Schwan emphasizes.
Michil Nono, a bachelor's student in electrical engineering, received the "NRWege" entry-level scholarship in the first semester of his studies and was accordingly able to enjoy a grant of 850 euros per month for a year. Obada Obaid, who has meanwhile already completed his bachelor's degree in computer science, received the "NRWege" graduation scholarship in the last six months of his studies and thus received 400 euros per month. In addition to financial support, the scholarship program also includes participation in study-related workshops, buddy programs and career-preparation training. After the two students from Syria had taken part in at least three of these DAAD measures per semester and written a final report on their scholarship, they were now able to receive their scholarship certificates.
"The University of Paderborn has been expanding its international relations for many years, and the support of refugees is particularly important. That is why I would like to thank the International Office in particular for its active commitment, even beyond the program," emphasized Vice President for International Relations Prof. Dr. Torsten Meier at the certificate ceremony.
About "NRWege Studies”
The integration program "NRWege Studies" has been strengthening the networking of refugees at universities in North Rhine-Westphalia since 2017. The scholarship is intended to help refugee students complete their studies and optimally prepare them for entry into the German labor market. In this way, structures can be created for the development of a cosmopolitan university and a sustainable contribution to internationalization can be made. In addition to academic achievement and social commitment, the neediness of the candidates is also taken into account when selecting scholarship holders. It is financed by funds from the Ministry of Culture and Science (MKW) of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.