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What are the preferences and priorities from amongst those who meet the criteria?

The following are paramount:

  • gender-balance (currently, only about 40% of DAFI students are female, therefore we particularly encourage women to apply);
  • individuals with special needs, e.g. physical disabilities;
  • the student's proven academic performance;
  • students who had to interrupt their studies due to flight, and who possess proof of previous university or college studies in their country of origin;
  • students who interrupted their DAFI scholarship in the country of asylum due to repatriation to the country of origin

Subject to prevailing conditions and available funds, studies may be continued by returnees in the country of origin. In order to allocate benefits in an equitable manner to as many refugee families as possible, no more than one scholarship should be provided within a single refugee family:

  • Students who choose shorter and inexpensive courses with high chances of employment (such as computer studies, para-medical and teaching professions, etc.)

Applicants should be able to clearly express their reasons for having chosen the particular study subject, and relate their choice to expected future employment opportunities in the country of asylum and upon repatriation. The granting of scholarships is limited to students contemplating courses of four, or fewer years' duration, with reliable prospects and high probability of employment. As funding is limited, and the programme seeks to offer as many scholarships as possible, full length university courses in medicine and similar courses will normally not be entertained. One exception to this are refugees who had their education in their country of origin disrupted, who require assistance for four years or less to complete their education in the country of asylum, and who are able to provide credible records of their previous studies. Applicants are encouraged to seek individual counselling and guidance about their choice of study at UNHCR offices or their respective NGO partners implementing the DAFI programme.


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