ProRef: More Than Language!
The Program for the Academic Preparation and Integration of Refugees (ProRef) will start a new program round in May 2023. The Schleswig-Holstein Ministry of General and Vocational Education, Science, Research and Culture has announced the extension of funding for another three years after the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) approved the program's funding. With over 1.8 million euros in financing, the program is secure until 2025. "This funding means that the program remains free of charge for participants," explains Stephanie Matthiesen, who coordinates the program together with Birte Petersen.
After working hard to secure the funding extension, EUF's Vice President for Europe and International Affairs, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Glassmann, is pleased about the new program round. "The ProRef program at Europa-Universität Flensburg teaches much more than just language skills. Components also include intercultural and methodological introductory courses, as well as academic social counseling. In this way, ProRef promotes integration and equal opportunities, and does so extremely successfully: since 2016, the program has already helped than 300 people from 13 different countries get started on their way. Since then, many of those people have successfully obtained their degrees in Germany, from the bachelor's level to the doctorate."
Afaf Wakef of Syria, for example, earned her B2 certificate in German through ProRef in 2019 and subsequently enrolled in the EUF master's program "Culture-Language-Media." She will obtain her degree this year. In 2022, Afaf Wakef became a naturalized citizen. "Without ProRef, I would not have passed the language exam," the Syrian emphasizes. "Participating in this program has brought me personally much closer to my goals," she says.
Mohammad Al Abdullah came to Flensburg from Syria in 2015. In May 2016, he participated in the English-language branch of the first ProRef program. Since then, he has obtained his bachelor's degree in European Cultures and Society and master's degree in European Studies at EUF. "What I like most about the program is that it is not a traditional language course. We studied a variety of topics in depth, discussing and analyzing current social issues. In the process, we learned not only the language, but also a way of thinking and communicating," he explains.
Both Afaf Wakef and Mohammad Al Abdullah are active in the ProRef alumni network.
The online application portal is now accepting applications for ProRef's current and upcoming German and English courses at the B1+, B2, and C1 levels. Anyone who has fled from another country, has good (B1 level) German or English skills, possesses a university entrance qualification, and wishes to study at a university is welcome to apply.