Kiron University in Berlin launches crowdfunding campaign to help refugees get back into higher education

Campaign has raised almost £13,500 so far, but hopes to reach around £873,000 by summer 2016

Aftab Ali
Wednesday 16 September 2015 10:33
25-year-old Fatuma was a social worker in Somalia and hopes to benefit from Kiron University in Germany
25-year-old Fatuma was a social worker in Somalia and hopes to benefit from Kiron University in Germany

An online university has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help refugees get back into further education after being displaced from their home country.

Essentially based in Berlin, Kiron University said it can be accessed from anywhere and added how it has a vision to provide millions of refugees worldwide with the chance to graduate at an institution.

Kiron said there are currently around eight million people who had already begun to study – or wanted to go to university – but couldn’t continue because circumstances in their home country condemned them to search for refuge elsewhere.

As a non-governmental, non-profit organisation, Kiron ultimately wants to remove the barriers for refugees and displaced people in order to access free higher education, offering bachelor degrees in five popular areas that face a shortage of skilled workers: computer sciences, engineering, business, architecture, and intercultural studies.

Watch Kiron University’s emotive and moving campaign video:

Starting with 1,000 students, Kiron needs €1,200 (£873) to fund a whole three-year degree program for one of its students, and the money raised will provide a refugee with a scholarship which will include student support, hardware, internet, and software, as well as fees for library access and databases.

Heading the crowdfunding campaign, Markus Kressler – who is also co-founder of Kiron – described how he is one of 50 volunteers currently involved in the core team of the university.

Highlighting how he has personally experienced “that fire that blazes in the eyes of refugees whenever they talk about their studies,” he said he has also experienced how difficult, if not impossible, it is for refugees to continue their studies in Germany, as well as in other countries.

He added: “That is why we have made it easy, through the support of great partner universities, and have actually managed to allow refugees get into higher education, from everywhere, at any time, and without tuition.”

If you want to donate or get more information, visit Kiron’s Startnext fundraising page

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