The scholarships are aimed at students who were unable to begin or complete their bachelor's or master's studies after the Taliban took power in their country.
Even the name carries hope: the "Omid Farda" scholarship, Persian for " hope for tomorrow," aims to offer Afghan students the prospect of studying in Bremen. After all, studying has become almost impossible in Afghanistan since August 2021. University closures, forced de-registrations, and acts of repression were and are the order of the day. Even though the country's major universities resumed teaching at the beginning of the year, not every student has free access to university education again. Women in particular are still not welcome at universities or are systematically prevented from attending classes.
"Thanks to residual funds, we have the unique opportunity to directly help students in need," Frauke Meyer, director of finance and administration at the University of Bremen, says and explains the basic idea behind the Omid Farda Scholarship. The scholarship is aimed at Afghans who were unable to begin or complete their studies under Taliban rule. "Even if it's only a drop in the ocean," Meyer continues, "we want to do what we can and make it possible for ten people to study in Bremen who have found themselves in life-threatening situations and face shattered career plans through no fault of their own."
Applications are open to bachelor's and master's students who choose a subject from the range of subjects offered by the universities in the state of Bremen. Language and subject preparation takes place at the cross-university HERE AHEAD Academy. "A C1 level of German is required to continue with a bachelor's degree," explains Dr. Christina von Behr, managing director of the academy. "These German courses, which are geared toward subsequent degree studies, are part of the preparatory study program."
Additionally, participants receive specialized preparation to make the transition to regular studies as smooth as possible. The scholarship includes the amount of a blocked account required for international prospective students (twelve times the BAföG loan maximum rate of 861 euros) and a travel allowance. Without such a scholarship, the visa for study purposes cannot be issued by the embassies.
"Students in Bremen and Bremerhaven must then pay for their own living expenses," von Behr explains. "A no longer functioning banking system in their home country currently makes it impossible for students to open such blocked accounts." The scholarship announcement provides clear criteria: being no older than 30 years, last degree no older than five years, proof of previous school or study achievements, and an explanation of the current risk situation are required. The scholarship must be repaid in full in the event of early de-registration.
The application period is from May 05 to June 05, 2022.
Applications can only be submitted via the application form on website of the Academy HERE AHEAD.
Please contact the Academy HERE AHEAD directly if you have questions about the scholarships.
Author: Mirja Uschkureit, Academy HERE AHEAD