The scholarship program is under Leadership for Africa initiative and is supported by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office to the tune €2.5 million annually.
The program has kicked off with an award of 51 scholarships to students who include 19 refugees living in Eastern African countries Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan.
“The scholarship holders are awarded a scholarship to finance their master’s degree course at a German higher education institution. DAAD also supports them in finding the right degree course and during the enrolment process,” said DAAD Regional Office for Africa director Beate Schindler-Kovats.
Besides being supported in picking the right degree, the scheme will take them through an extensive ‘supplementary’ program with courses on understanding democracy, the rule of law and sustainable economic and social development, she noted.
“The Leadership for Africa aims to leverage a German master’s degree and proficiency from the supplementary program to improve scholarship holders’ career opportunities and enable them to contribute to successful and socially relevant professional development in their home country or an-other country,” the director added.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic selection interviews were held online partly involving technically difficult digital connections directly into UNHCR refugee camps in the region, she disclosed.
Following the successful launch, a second call that closes on July 2 has been launched under the program targeting citizens and refugees living in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and South Sudan in what will become cohort two.
A similar call has been launched targeting West African countries of Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Senegal also with a July 2 deadline.
“Germany is aware of the difficult situation facing many refugees”
Under the LAP applicants are free to choose any field of study, with the exception of human, veterinary and dental medicine, and public health, as well as law, art, music and architecture.
In including refugees in LAP the federal government of Germany was seeking sustainable ways of supporting the displaced, said Michelle Müntefering, minister of State for International Cultural and Educational Policy at the Federal Foreign Office.
“Germany is aware of the difficult situation facing many refugees and jointly with its partners is striking out in new and sustainable directions to assist these people,” Müntefering said.
UNHCR has target of seeing 15% of eligible refugees in higher education by 2030. Read more in The PIE Review.