Tertiary Education

Refugees and asylum-seekers can access tertiary education as foreign students in Iraq.

  • Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI): Per government directive, unless a refugee or asylum-seeker student completed their secondary schooling inside KRI, those wishing to enrol in a KRI university must first equalize their school certificates from their country of origin.
  • Central and Southern governorates: Enrolment in higher education similarly requires equalization of certificates for those who completed secondary school studies outside of Iraq. Those who have completed their secondary school in Iraq can enrol in public universities.

Scholarships and Opportunities

  • DAFI Scholarship: Each year, UNHCR selects and supports a small number of DAFI scholars in Iraq, with the support of the German government. Learn more about the DAFI programme here.
  • Overseas Opportunities: To find accredited higher education academic or scholarship programmes outside of Iraq that have been verified by UNHCR, visit: https://services.unhcr.org/opportunities/. UNHCR may not be directly affiliated with a higher education opportunity listed, nor administering applications and overseeing admission

DAFI Scholarship 2023-2024

The scholarship covers a range of costs, including subsistence allowances and payment of tuition fees at universities covering a maximum of four years of study. Female candidates, persons with disabilities and students who intend to enroll in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) program are strongly encouraged to apply to the call. 

UNHCR Iraq is pleased to announce the launch of DAFI (Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative) Scholarship for the 2023-2024 academic year. The scholarship offers qualified refugee students the possibility to earn an undergraduate degree in their country of asylum or home country. 


To be eligible for the 2023 Iraq DAFI scholarship, applicants must meet all the following criteria:  

  • Be a refugee or asylum-seeker in Iraq and hold a UNHCR Asylum Seeker or refugee certificate.  
  • Have a valid residence permit   
  • Age 17-28 years by 31 December 2023  
  • Completed secondary school studies inside Iraq* 
  • Graduated secondary school with a minimum grade of 80% 
  • Have no other siblings already receiving a DAFI scholarship   

Current university students with more than two (2) years of study left are also welcomed to apply.  

The DAFI scholarship program 2023 has only 40 scholarships available for all Iraq. 

Applications must be submitted ONLY via the new UNHCR Tertiary Scholarship Programme Online Platform (scholarshipsplatform.com) [https://unhcr-dafi-tertiary.scholarshipsplatform.com/] between 17 September and 01 October 2023. Late submissions will not be considered

The new online platform accepts only applications in English and in Arabic .  

*For applicants in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq: must have completed all 9-12 grades inside Iraq.   

*For applicants in the Central and Southern governorates of Iraq: Completed grade (3 intermediate schools-6 preparatory schools) inside Iraq. 

Scholarship Opportunity