With its educational offers and academic opportunities, Leipzig University is open to all citizens. It supports refugees – from those interested in studying, to experienced scholars looking to reconnect with academia.

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International students on campus. Photo: Christian Hüller

The first point of contact for both refugees and members of the University is the Commissioner for Refugees, Professor Günther Fitzl. He advises on general regulations governing the integration of refugees, provides information about special services and funding opportunities at Leipzig University, and supports refugees in all matters within the University.

Services for Refugees at Our University

Leipzig University offers refugees auditor status free of charge. Being an auditor (known in German as a Gasthörer) allows you to attend individual courses at Leipzig University without taking exams or earning a qualification at the end. Auditors are entitled to a library card for the University Library.

You don’t need a university entrance qualification to apply for auditor status. You do, however, require permission to remain in Germany pending the decision about your asylum application.

Refugees can apply for a place at Leipzig University. The International Centre team offers individual support during the application and enrolment process.

The criteria for admission to higher education, enrolment, the recognition of credits, entrance examinations, and degrees are the same for all international applicants. Foreign applicants must prove that they have the language skills required for their studies. Please visit the page for refugees interested in studying for further information about applying.

The social counselling service run by the Studentenwerk Leipzig is at your disposal if you have any questions concerning student finance, organising your studies, advice in difficult situations, studying as a parent or with a chronic illness or disability, as well as about your residence permit during your studies.

Leipzig University’s Student Council (StuRa) also offers international students advice on social, financial and psychosocial problems. Please visit the StuRa website for more information.

Applicants with a refugee background who do not yet have the necessary German language skills can take a free German course to prepare for their studies at our university. The course takes place at the Studienkolleg Sachsen and at interDaF e. V. at the University’s Herder Institute.

Please contact the International Centre for further information and individual advice.

Refugees can register as "external users" at Leipzig University Library to use the libraries as well as the PCs and the internet.

MitStudieren is a project by and with students of German as a Foreign and Second Language that provides language support to prospective and current refugee students on their way to and in their studies. Interested students can improve their German skills individually or in groups, study for German exams or receive language support during their studies. In addition, the students are available to answer all other questions about studying.

Please check the initiative's Facebook page for urrent information and dates.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) administers the scholarship programme “Hilde Domin programme” with funds from the Federal Foreign Office (AA).

The programme serves to support students and doctoral researchers from across the globe, who are at risk of being formally or de facto denied educational or other rights in their country of origin, and to provide these students and doctoral researchers with an opportunity to begin or complete a study or research degree at a higher education institution in Germany.

Requirements to apply for the scholarship are:

  • Age of majority
  • Educational certificates which, according to the www.anabin.de database, entitle the holder to study in Germany; the higher education entrance qualification or the last university degree should not have been acquired more than two years ago at the time of application
  • Language certificates or proof of proficiency in the language of the intended degree programme (English or German) corresponding to level B2 or higher of the CEFR or German B1, respectively, if the Studienkolleg must be completed prior to the subject-related degree programme
  • Ability to prove or credibly demonstrate a threat to their personal well-being or safety (e.g. physical violence, arrest, denial of civil and educational rights, etc.), with the result that they are denied their right to education in the home country
  • At the time of the nomination, nominees should not reside in Germany or other EU countries.

Candidates cannot apply for the Hilde Domin programme on their own, but are nominated by the rector. Academics at Leipzig University can submit nominations to the International Centre (SI) using the nomination form provided by the DAAD. The SI checks the documents before submitting them to the rector for a formal decision and signature.

Suitable candidates are then contacted by the DAAD and invited to apply via the DAAD’s online application portal. Both the status of risk and academic performance are assessed as part of the selection process.

For more information, including about the scholarship benefits, please see the Hilde Domin programme website.

We will be happy to assist you with the nomination process: Contact the International Centre

Information about further funding opportunities is available in the German Academic Exchange Service’s scholarship database.

If you are already enrolled at Leipzig University, you can also contact the Studentenwerk Leipzig’s social counselling service for information about other funding opportunities.

enlarge the image: Foto: Eine Gruppe internationaler Studierender betrachtet eine Weltkugel und zeigen sich gegenseitig ihre Heimatländer
Internationale Studierende an unserer Universität, Foto: Christian Hüller

Support for refugee academics

Our university also supports researchers with a refugee background. Funding options for academics who have fled their home countries are offered by various institutions. For more information about these initiatives, please contact Dr Barbara Weiner and Dr Sindy Schug from the Department of Research Services.

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