Swiss university puts solidarity into action by offering scholarships to refugees

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Switzerland – Franklin University Switzerland (FUS), a Swiss and US-accredited university institution based in Sorengo (Switzerland), is putting its commitment to solidarity and social justice into action by offering university scholarships to displaced students who have been recognised as refugees in Switzerland.

Europe is currently experiencing the worst refugee crisis since World War II, with millions of people seeking shelter from war-torn regions, and host countries in Europe, including Switzerland, struggle to find humanitarian solutions to the crisis. Believing that education can be a key factor in finding sustainable solutions to the crisis, FUS has established Scholarships Without Borders (SWB) – a new scholarship programme designed to offer qualified students who have been granted refugee status in Switzerland the opportunity to embark on studies leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree.

The programme, founded in 2015 at FUS by its directors Prof Johanna Fassl and Prof Caroline Wiedmer, allows students to be admitted to a dedicated bridge programme, or gain direct entry to Franklin’s Bachelor of Arts programme, depending on qualifications. As part of this pioneering project, admitted refugee students are provided with a full scholarship and with financial and academic support from the university.

The SWB program is funded through direct scholarships and through collaboration with cantonal bodies, foundations, and private donors around the world. The humanitarian, non-profit organisation SOS Ticino contributes to the program by identifying refugees based in Ticino who possess both immigration documents and the requisite academic qualifications to enter university studies. Franklin also works with SOS Ticino to provide successful candidates with ongoing guidance and support throughout their studies at the university. SWB students are in fact not only awarded full tuition scholarships by FUS; they also receive dedicated personal and academic support through a network of professors, peer mentors, and professionals to ensure success in their university studies.

As part of the programme, FUS will offer an international summer school program on human rights, leadership skills and the role of higher education in the process of re-integration and rebuilding of war-torn countries.