DAFI scholarship programme

Since 2022, UNHCR Slovakia has awarded DAFI scholarships to selected refugee students enrolled in undergraduate programmes in Slovak universities.

A call for applications is launched every year in July/August and interested students are asked to apply through the global DAFI online portal.

There is currently no call for applications open in Slovakia.

What is the DAFI scholarship progamme?

The Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative, known as the DAFI scholarship programme, offers refugee students the possibility to earn an undergraduate degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in their first country of asylum. Through the support of the German Government, UNHCR and private donors, the DAFI programme has supported over 24,300 young refugees to undertake tertiary studies since 1992.

Main objectives of the DAFI programme:

  • promote self-reliance among young refugee women and men by providing opportunities to earn a higher education qualification, paving the way for future employment, entrepreneurship, other livelihoods or postgraduate studies;
  • develop the civic, social and leadership skills of DAFI students to promote human rights, gender equality, peace and non-violence and community development;
  • strengthen the protective impact of education by encouraging lifelong learning;
  • contribute to sustainable development, peace and stability in regions affected by conflict and displacement and to enable refugees to access solutions.

Studies at Master’s level are not supported under the DAFI programme.

What are the terms and conditions of the DAFI scholarship?

DAFI scholarships contribute to a wide range of costs, such as accommodation, food, local transportation and study materials, and, in some cases, registration and tuition fees.

DAFI scholarships may be renewed each year for up to four years, based on regular class attendance, successful completion of each semester and academic year, progress towards the undergraduate degree within the regular study time foreseen by the higher education institution, and regular participation in DAFI programme activities (e.g. student meetings, community engagement activities, etc.).

What are the criteria to be eligible for a DAFI scholarship?

To be eligible for a DAFI scholarship in Slovakia, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You have been granted refugee status (or have applied for asylum) or have been granted Temporary Protection (TP) in Slovakia;
  • You are under 28 years old at the start of your studies;
  • You have completed high/secondary school and are able to present the original documents attesting your achievements;
  • You achieved at least 60% marks in end of high/secondary school examinations;
  • You have been admitted to an undergraduate study programme in an accredited university or higher education institution in Slovakia (either you have just been admitted at the time of the DAFI application, or you are studying in an undergraduate study programme and have more than two years of studies left);
  • You are proficient in the language of instruction of the degree programme in which you enrolled;
  • You are in need of financial assistance to pursue your studies;
  • You have a strong motivation to contribute to your community through leadership, volunteering, community service, mentoring, community development or similar;
  • You are not currently receiving a scholarship from another source (e.g. private scholarship, scholarship from the Slovak government, Erasmus scholarship, etc.).

Are not eligible for a DAFI scholarship:

  • Applicants with advanced resettlement or complementary pathways cases (departure expected within one year);
  • Applicants who do not intend to finish their undergraduate studies in Slovakia because of planned repatriation or other reasons;
  • Students who already hold a tertiary or higher education level degree.

For more information on the DAFI scholarship programme:

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