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UNHCR launches DAFI scholarship for 2019-2020 academic year

By Elizabeth Turnbull - Aug 01,2019 - Last updated at Aug 01,2019

AMMAN — Forty scholarship slots under the Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative (DAFI) programme are available for refugees of all nationalities for the 2019-2020 academic year, according to the UNHCR. 

“Programmes such as the UNHCR administered DAFI scholarship programme are key to guarantee a bright future to these young refugees," UNHCR spokesperson Lilly Carlisle told The Jordan Times on Wednesday.

The scholarship covers all tuition fees for those seeking their Bachelor’s degree and offers standard allowances for living, transportation and book purchases. The programme is funded by the German government and the Siad and Asfari Foundations, among other organisations, the UNHCR said.

Refugees have difficulty accessing education at all levels, with only 23 per cent of refugee adolescents enrolled in school at the secondary level and a mere 1 per cent of young adult refugees enrolled in higher education, compared to 36 per cent of young adults globally, according to the UNHCR. 

In order to be considered for the scholarship, applicants must submit applications by August 8, they must recognised as a refugee and registered with the UNHCR, and they must be a new Tawjihi graduate and have original or certified academic certificates, among other things.

Extended on an annual basis, the DAFI scholarship has helped over 800 refugees attend higher education at universities in Jordan since 2007, according to Carlisle.

Those who have met the criteria but were not selected due to limited slots are encouraged to apply again for the upcoming academic year, according to the UNHCR. 

The applications come at a critical time as tertiary educational opportunities for refugees remain limited, and many such students who have completed secondary education do not have opportunities to continue furthering their education, Carlisle said. 

"Since 2007, DAFI Scholarships have played a pioneering role in giving refugees access to higher education in Jordan," Carlisle said. "Through providing fully-funded university scholarships, the DAFI programme is helping refugees to acquire knowledge and build skills but more importantly is giving young people hope."

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