UNHCR DAFI (Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative) Scholarship Programme 2019

UNHCR DAFI (Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative) Scholarship Programme 2019

Deadline: October 31, 2019

Applications are open for the UNHCR DAFI Scholarship Programme 2019. The DAFI (Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative) scholarship programme offers refugee students the possibility to earn an undergraduate degree in their country of asylum.  Through the dedicated support of the German Government, and private donors, the programme has supported over 14,000 young refugees to undertake tertiary studies since 1992.

The strategic priorities of the DAFI programme are to:

  • Promote self-reliance of sponsored students through opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship;
  • Empower students to contribute knowledge, skills and leadership to the refugee community, and to facilitate peaceful coexistence with host communities during displacement;
  • Strengthen the protective impact of education by encouraging lifelong learning for young refugees;
  • Foster future role models for refugee children and youth to demonstrate the impact of education on individuals, communities and societies.


  • The scholarship covers a wide range of costs, including tuition, fees, study materials, food, transportation, accommodation and other expenses.
  • To amplify academic achievement and skills development, DAFI scholars receive additional support through close monitoring, academic preparatory and language classes based on students’ needs, as well as mentoring and networking opportunities.


  • A candidate must be a refugee with recognised refugee status;
  • Have successfully completed secondary schooling to a high standard;
  • Have no other means of support for university studies;
  • Select a course of study that is likely to lead to employment in the country of origin with maximum three to four years duration;
  • Not be older than 28 years at the beginning of studies;
  • Have no other family member receiving a DAFI scholarship.

Eligible Countries

In 2019, DAFI scholarships are available in 52 countries, namely:

  • Sub-Sahara Africa: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia & Zimbabwe.
  • Middle East & Northern Africa (MENA): Algeria, Egypt, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Syria & Yemen
  • Asia & Pacific: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan & Tajikistan
  • The Americas: Ecuador & Mexico.
  • Europe: Azerbaijan, Russian Federation, Turkey & Ukraine.

Selection Criteria

The DAFI Programme supports socio-economically disadvantaged and academically deserving refugee students in the first country of asylum. Priority is given to:

  • qualified refugees who have no means of financial support for university studies, or who are excluded from application for scholarships available to nationals;
  • students whose studies were interrupted due to displacement, and who possess proof of previous university or college studies in their country of origin;
  • refugee students who have proficiency in the language of instruction at universities or colleges in their country of asylum;
  • students who choose shorter and inexpensive courses with high chances of employment (such as computer studies, paramedical and teaching professions, etc).

Other aspects taken into account throughout the selection are:

  • objective to achieve gender parity;
  • individuals with different needs;
  • student commitment to community support, voluntary work etc.;
  • fair distribution of scholarships among urban and camp-based refugees;
  • ethnic and religious diversity.


  • Check in the list above if there is a current DAFI Programme in your country of asylum.
  • Check if you meet the above-mentioned criteria.
  • You can contact the respective office by emailing your country of interest in the following contact form.
  • Complete the country specific application form and submit as indicated on the form.

For more information, visit UNHCR.