In Switzerland, there are various projects that accompany and support refugees interested in studying at a Swiss university, university of applied sciences or university of teacher education. On this page you will find important information about the individual projects.

German-speaking Switzerland

Universities

  • University of Basel | Open Lecture Auditorium (Offener Hörsaal)

    This project is open to refugees (N, F, B or S residence permit) living in Basel who either have attended university in their home country and wish to continue their education or are interested in studying for the first time. 

    Offer

    • Admission to three lectures at Basel University as an ‘auditor’ (no exams and no academic credits) 
    • Language classes at Basel University Language Centre 
    • Peer mentoring (‘Buddy Programme’) 
    • Social events (meals, regular informal get-togethers etc.)  
    • Access to all university sports facilities and clubs 
    • Discounts at the campus canteen and cafeterias 
    • Payment of travel costs for participants with no means of financial support 
    • Certificate of attendance

     

    Admission criteria 

    • Language skills: German (B1–B2 level or higher) and English (B2 level or higher). No certificate required, assessed by interview
    • Sufficient availability to attend lectures and language classes 

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Email: info@offener-hoersaal.ch 

    Website 

  • University of Basel | Coordination Office for Refugees

    If you are interested in studying at the University of Basel, then you need to contact the Coordination Office for Refugees. In an initial, non-binding consultation, the Coordination Office will clarify whether you fulfil the admission requirements and/ or which additional requirements (if any) you still need to fulfil to matriculate at the University of Basel. If studying is not an option, the Coordination Office will help you to find the source of information you need. The offer is aimed at refugees who are interested in studying or who are already enrolled.

    Offer

    Free, personal counselling and support on:

    • Finances, budgeting
    • Day-to-day questions
    • Accommodation
    • Correspondence with various official bodies (e.g. Immigration Office, social security)
    • Networking/ triage with internal offices at the University of Basel and external offices in the Basel region

     

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Contact person: Anna Meier

    Email: annalea.meier@unibas.ch

    Website

  • University of Bern | Compass UniBE – University preparation for refugee students

    Compass UniBE is a two-semester university preparation program for refugees, who are aiming to study at the University of Bern. The program enables qualified refugees interested in studying to hone their language, methodological, and organizational skills in preparation for taking up a study program.

    After successfully completing the Compass UniBE university preparation program, you have the opportunity to apply for admission to a regular course of study.

    The project startet in the fall semester 2023 and is initially limited to two pilot years.

    Offer

    • Language courses (German up to level C1 and English)
    • Mathematics course
    • The opportunity to attend modules or lectures in the discipline of your choice
    • Courses on learning technique and methodology
    • Individual counseling and support with the admission process
    • Mentoring by the students’ union (SUB)
    • Access to various university services
    • Information and orientation events

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Contact person: Ann-Seline Fankhauser und Solvej Sörensen

    Email: kompass@unibe.ch

    Website

    Flyer (in German)

    Media coverage

    Uni aktuell: Einzigartige Studienvorbereitung für Geflüchtete (4.3.2024)

    Der Bund: Wie die Uni Geflüchtete integriert (30.10.2023)

    bsz – bärner studizytig: Kompass UniBE – Eine neue Praxis der «Integration»? (12.3.2023)

  • University of Bern | Open Lecture Auditorium (Offener Hörsaal)

    This project is open to refugees who are interested in studying for a degree or exploring the higher and/or continuing education opportunities available to them in Switzerland. Participation is possible during one semester.

    Offer

    • Attendance of a maximum of 5 courses at the University of Bern as a listener (except medical faculty)
    • No possibility to take examinations or acquire ECTS credits
    • Mentoring with students from the University of Bern in peer groups
    • Support programme: kick-off event, networking meeting, final meeting, information event with BIZ (career guidance and information centre), etc.
    • Campus account: Access to university documents, e-mail account, access to libraries and the university sports programme
    • Language course through BoG PH Bern and loan of VoCHabular German self-study materials
    • Use of the SUB Hüsli (lounge, kitchen, photocopying)
    • Laptop loan
    • Confirmation of participation

     

    Admission criteria 

    Registration according to the “first come, first serve” principle

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Email: offener-hoersaal@sub.unibe.ch 

    Website 

  • University of Lucerne | Campus Lucerne for Refugees

    The integration pre-study program is an initiative of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, the University Lucerne and the Lucerne University of Teacher Education. The objective of the one-year pre-study program is to make it easier for well-educated and ambitious people with a refugee background to gain access to regular studies. The bridging offer is aimed at people with a residence permit B, F, S or N. As part of the integration pre-study program, refugees can attend German courses, mentoring offers and selected modules as auditors at one of the three universities, depending on the intended focus of their studies.

    Offer

    • German language course level B2/C1
    • Modules as a auditors (selection from module offerings)
    • Mentoring by local students
    • Position talks by the coordination office
    • Participation in sports campus activities

     

    Admission criteria

    • Proof of school-leaving certificate from the country of origin/ equivalent qualification to study at our university
    • University experience or proof of studies completed abroad (admission is based on individual aptitude assessment)
    • Proof of language skills: German level B2
    • Written consent from the case management office (if available)
    • Minimum age: 18 years
    • Residence permit in Switzerland: B, F, S or N
    • Addictional criteria:
      • Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts: relevant work experience (can also be acquired after the integration pre-study)
      • University of Lucerne: Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university

    Application , Costs and Duration

    • The Campus Lucerne programme lasts two semesters; entry to the programme is possible in the autumn semester.
    • Information on the application process and deadlines can be found here.

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Contact persons: 

    • HSLU: Sandra Sommer & Jeremy Sigrist
    • UNILU: Uta Zehnder
    • PH Luzern: Anne Schillig

     

    Email: campusgefluechtete@hslu.ch

    Website

  • University of Zurich | Explore - Academic Orientation Program for Refugees at UZH

    “Explore – Academic Orientation Program for Refugees at UZH” is a semi-intensive program at the University of Zurich (UZH) and is aimed at qualified refugees who want to improve their German language skills at an academic level and get to know the content and demands of studying in Switzerland. Participants attend German courses, academic modules and various information events on higher education opportunities at UZH for at least one semester.

    Offer

    • German courses with a focus on linguistic study skills
    • University subject modules
    • Information and counselling services on higher education in Switzerland  

     

    Admission criteria

    • Residence permit N, F, S or B (refugee)
    • At least upper secondary school-leaving certificate (e.g. Matura)
    • Good knowledge of German (at least completed level A2)
    • Consent from the case-managing organisation (declaration of consent from the case-managing organisation must be submitted
    • with the application)
    • Residence in Switzerland

     

    Application , Costs and Duration

    Explore lasts two semesters; it is possible to join the programme in the autumn semester. Classes begin in mid-September and end at the beginning of May.

    Information on the application process, deadlines and programme fees can be found on the programme website.

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Contact person: Chantal Marquart and Zaher Ahmadi

    Email: refugees@global.uzh.ch

    Website

  • University of St. Gallen | Offers for Migrants

    With the “Offers for Migrants” initiative, the University of St. Gallen offers selected executive education programmes for refugee migrants with a university degree who live in Switzerland.

     Offer

    “Offers for Migrants” currently consists of a range of 24 programmes. These correspond to either a seminar, a CAS or a DAS and are mainly offered in German, but some are also available in English. A maximum of one education programme can be taken up per person.

    Admission criteria

    • Proven university degree,
    • At least 5 years of professional experience (in the home and/or host country),
    • Fulfilment of the respective programme requirements,
    • availability of places,
    • good language skills (German/English, recommended is at least language level B2),
    • 100% attendance in the programme (refund in case of non-fulfilment, except in justified cases with a medical certificate)

     

    Application, duration and costs

    If the formal criteria are met, the first step is a free counselling interview with the HSG’s Executive Education Consultant. Interested persons can also be referred to the HSG’s Executive Education Consultant via the initiative’s cooperation partner, Heks MosaiQ, and take part in the programmes. The respective programme leader decides on final admission.

    The duration varies depending on the programme.

    The continuing education programme is free of charge for participants. The costs are covered by the respective institute.

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Contact person: judith.witzemann@unisg.ch (continuing education counsellor)

    Website

     Media reports

  • Zurich | «SEET – Support Education, Empower Together»

    SEET supports refugees in (re)starting their studies in Switzerland by providing them with professional mentoring, a broad network, career workshops and situational financial support as part of a support study project.

    Offer 

    • Accompaniment and support in applying for studies and scholarships
    • Group meetings
    • Workshops
    • In some cases financial support
    • The focus is on mentoring

     

    Admission criteria 

    • Refugees with N, F, B or S status.
    • Possess some of the prerequisites for study
    • Good language skills (B2)
    • They intend to start a course of study or training in Switzerland within one to a maximum of two years

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    E-mail: seet@seet.ch

    Website

Universities of Applied Sciences

  • Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH) | CAS Mediating in Transcultural Contexts

    Do you work together with people from different cultures and religions? In this study programme you will acquire the basics of mediation in order to recognise and resolve tensions and irritations in good time. The study programme lasts one year (May 2023 to May 2024) and is aimed at professionals from the fields of social work, diaconia, education, health care and counselling, as well as volunteers and honorary workers.

    Offer

    • The study programme provides you with the necessary tools for your intercultural and interreligious engagement and makes you more confident in dealing with diversity.
    • The course teaches you the basics of mediation in order to recognise and intervene in conflicts at an early stage.
    • It takes place in cooperation with the association “House of Religions – Dialogue of Cultures”.

     

    Admission criteria

    • To all persons with a tertiary qualification and 2 years’ professional experience.
    • Admission sur dossier possible for persons without a tertiary degree.
    • Knowledge of German min. B2, theses can also be written in other languages.

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION 

    Contact persons: Prof. Daniela Oppliger

    E-mail: daniela.oppliger@bfh.ch

    Website (in German)

  • Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH) | University Preparatory Course (for Refugees)

    The 15-month preparation course comprises a language and a technical preliminary course as well as the start of an internship. It enables refugees with suitable previous education to access a university of applied sciences course at the Department of Technology and Computer Science. The project is funded by the Canton of Bern and the SEM and is a pilot project and will be carried out for the first time.

    Offer

    • Language course
    • Preliminary course
    • Internship
    • Coaching
    • Access to libraries
    • Preparation for regular studies (admission requirements must be met at the beginning of the course)

     

    Admission criteria

    • Residence permit N, F (refugees and provisionally admitted persons), S and B
    • At least Matura, but preferably study experience in the country of origin
    • German and/or French B1
    • Canton of Bern (exceptions are possible)

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION 

    Contact persons: Marlis Zbinden and Thomas von Burg

    E-mail: marlis.zbinden@bfh.ch and thomas.vonburg@bfh.ch

    Website

  • Bern University of the Arts (HKB) | AG Creation for All

    This project is aimed specifically at refugees with a background – educational or professional – in art, music or design. The project gives refugee artists an opportunity to expand their network, experience university life at the HKB (Bern University of the Arts) and familiarise themselves with its admission requirements if they wish to start regular stuides. It is free of charge. 

    Offer 

    • Participants can attend several classes – visual communication, fine arts, music, theatre etc. as an ‘auditor’ (no exams and no academic credits)
    • One to one mentoring 
    • Language exchange (“tandems”)
    • Certificate of attendance (upon request) 

     

    Admission criteria 

    • N, F, B or S residence permit 
    • Previous experience in the field of art, music or design 
    • No specific language skills required; beginners may also apply. Where necessary, the appropriate language classes will be sourced for the participant. 

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Email: ag.kulturesk@gmail.com 

    Website 

    Facebook 

  • University of Applied Sciences Grisons (FHGR) | Preparatory/ Bridge Year For Refugees

    Refugees (status N, F, B or S) who qualify for university studies should be given access to a Bachelor’s degree programme at the UAS Grisons through a preliminary bridge year. In this preparatory/bridge year (2 semesters), students can choose from the following Bachelor’s degree programmes: Tourism, Computational and Data Science, Mobile Robotics, Information Science, Civil Engineering, Photonics. In addition to modules specific to the degree programme, participants attend support modules such as German or mathematics and preferably complete an internship in an occupation relevant to the degree programme in a company in the Grisons region. Completing the bridge year should improve the participants’ training and labour market skills.

    Offer

    The bridge year lasts 1 academic year and can be completed in 2 variants:

    • Option 1 with internship: Students complete a part-time internship (approx. 40%) for 12 months in a company specific to their degree programme. If the student is suitable and interested, the internship can be converted into a part-time position after successful completion of the bridge year, which provides financial security and independence in addition to part-time studies and improves the student’s employability after graduation.

     

    • Option 2 without internship: If desired, the bridge year can also be completed without a part-time internship. However, this requires proof of the necessary practical experience, which is required as a condition of admission to the degree programme.

     

    • Course-specific modules
    • Academic German course aiming at C1 (entry level B2)
    • Computer Science (all fields of study except Computational and Data Science)
    • Mathematics (all fields of study except Information Science)
    • Scientific work (Tourism, Civil Engineering, Information Science)
    • Mentoring/coaching: In the case of coaching, students receive individual support in organisational as well as academic matters from the responsible contact point at the UAS Grisons in their day-to-day studies.
    • Free use of UAS Grisons services (library, sports, IT, etc.):
    • Mentoring / Buddy System (by UAS Grisons students)

     

    Admission criteria

    • Residence permit: N, F, B, S
    • Previous education: Matura certificate from the country of origin or proof of studies completed abroad.
    • German language skills: Level B2
    • Confirmed assessment of potential by the job coach responsible
    • Written consent from the leading office/social counselling centre
    • Minimum age: 18 years
    • Place of residence / region: Canton Grisons

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION 

    Contact person: Anne-Marie Jäger-Stevenson

    Email: refugees@fhgr.ch

    Website

     

    Media coverage (in german)

  • INVOST | Integrationsvorstudium an Fachhochschulen

    INVOST – Integrationsvorstudium an Fachhochschulen is a new collaborative programme between the Swiss Students’ Unions (VSS), the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES–SO) and the FHNW School of Engineering. Its aim is to prepare highly qualified refugees for admission to a course of study at a UAS by means of targeted support measures. Two cross-cantonal UAS – the FHNW School of Engineering (Integral Project) and the HES–SO – have seized the initiative and are taking concrete action to make equal access to higher education a reality. 

    INVOST – Integrationsvorstudium an Fachhochschulen is supported by the Volkart Foundation and the Mercator Foundation Switzerland. 

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Contact person: Rahel Müller Aho

    Email: invost@vss-unes.ch

    Further information (in German or French)

     

    Media coverage

    ASYL: Qualifizierte Geflüchtete an der Fachhochschule Westschweiz HES-SO und der Hochschule für Technik FHNW (2/2024) (With the kind permission of the ASYL editorial team, published by Swiss Refugee Council (SFH). You can subscribe to the specialised legal journal ASYL at www.asyl.recht.ch.)

  • School of Engineering Brugg-Windisch (HT FHNW) | Project Integral (INVOST)

    Integral is a pilot project which is implemented as part of the wider cross-cantonal project INVOST – Integrationsvorstudium für Geflüchtete and in cooperation with the Swiss Students’ Union (VSS) and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES–SO). 

    Applicants will be invited for an interview. The aim is to identify the right solution for the applicant: direct admission to a UAS course of study or admission to a preparatory course first or alternative study options. aufnahmeverfahren-integral-ht-fhnw.png

    Offer

    The preparatory course consists of a range of support services. The choice of services provided to the participant is determined by the results of their individual assessment and their specific needs: They include: 

    • Counselling & support service 
    • Assistance with finding internal and external traineeship positions 
    • Language classes 
    • Mentoring 
    • Admission to modules as an ‘auditor’ (no exams and no academic credits) 
    • Financial support 

     

    Admission criteria 

    • High level of motivation for (re-)admission to a technical course of study  
    • Command of German (proficiency assessments on an individual basis) 
    • Prior education in the home country (school-leaving qualifications, e.g. Baccalaureate, or higher). Checks are carried out by the Integral Project Coordination Office (FHNW)  in cooperation with the competent cantonal and local authorities and advisory services. 

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Contact person: Stefan Czarnecki | Head of the Integral Project Coordination Office 

    Email: stefan.czarnecki@fhnw.ch

    Website 

     

    Media coverage

    • ASYL: Qualifizierte Geflüchtete an der Fachhochschule Westschweiz HES-SO und der Hochschule für Technik FHNW (2/2024) (With the kind permission of the ASYL editorial team, published by Swiss Refugee Council (SFH). You can subscribe to the specialised legal journal ASYL at www.asyl.recht.ch.)
    • Impulse: Brücke zum Studium für qualifizierte Geflüchtete (November 2023)
  • Basel Academy of Art and Design (HGK Basel FHNW) | Access HGK

    “Access HGK” is a student-initiated association which promotes equal opportunities in access to higher education. The purpose of the association is to make it easier for prospective students with refugee experience to provide access to the Basel Academy of Art and Design (HGK Basel) by means of a bridge offer.

    Offer

    • Participation in events as a guest student
    • Close support of project participants from the admission procedure to graduation
    • Administrative, organisational and financial support with enrolment and studies
    • Semester framework programme/activities
    • Access to the infrastructure of the HGK Basel FHNW
    • (Language courses at the appropriate level under development)

     

    Admission criteria 

    • Refugees with residence status N, F, S, B, C
    • Region of Basel-Stadt, Basel-Land, Aargau, Solothurn
    • Interest or prestudies in the creative field

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Email: info@access-hgk.ch

    Website 

  • Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) | Campus Lucerne for Refugees

    The integration pre-study program is an initiative of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, the University Lucerne and the Lucerne University of Teacher Education. The objective of the one-year pre-study program is to make it easier for well-educated and ambitious people with a refugee background to gain access to regular studies. The bridging offer is aimed at people with a residence permit B, F, S or N. As part of the integration pre-study program, refugees can attend German courses, mentoring offers and selected modules as auditors at one of the three universities from autumn 2024, depending on the intended focus of their studies.

    Offer

    • German language course level B2/C1
    • Modules as a auditors (selection from module offerings)
    • Mentoring by local students
    • Position talks by the coordination office
    • Participation in sports campus activities

     

    Admission criteria

    • Proof of school-leaving certificate from the country of origin/ equivalent qualification to study at our university
    • University experience or proof of studies completed abroad (admission is based on individual aptitude assessment)
    • Proof of language skills: German level B2
    • Written consent from the case management office (if available)
    • Minimum age: 18 years
    • Residence permit in Switzerland: B, F, S or N
    • Addictional criteria:
      • Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts: relevant work experience (can also be acquired after the integration pre-study)
      • University of Lucerne: Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university

    Application , Costs and Duration

    • The Campus Lucerne programme lasts two semesters; entry to the programme is possible in the autumn semester.
    • Information on the application process and deadlines can be found here.

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Contact persons: 

    • HSLU: Sandra Sommer & Jeremy Sigrist
    • UNILU: Uta Zehnder
    • PH Luzern: Anne Schillig

     

    Email: campusgefluechtete@hslu.ch

    Website

  • University of the Arts Zurich (ZHdK) | Guest and Trial Semester for Refugee Art and Design Students

    The programme is aimed at refugees who have worked as artists or designers in their country of origin or have started or completed a corresponding course of study.

     Offer 

    • Residence status: N, F, B or S
    • Participation as a guest student
    • German courses
    • The contact point for refugees provides information on projects and initiatives in the field of asylum that are connected to the university and its students
    • Possibility of ECTS credits being recognised when transferring to regular studies for guest students
    • Confirmation of participation
    • Overview of the programme here

     

     Admission criteria

    • Studies or professional experience in art, music or design

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Contact person: Iris Meili

    Email: zugang.gefluechtete@zhdk.ch

    Website 

  • Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) | ZHAW for Refugees

    The ZHAW offers various access options for refugee (prospective) students. A contact point offers information on which of these options is most suitable for a person. Further support measures are being planned.

    Offer

    • As an auditor, you can get to know university life at the ZHAW without the possibility of taking exams (no ECTS points). It is possible to study as an auditor for a maximum of two semesters.
    • Study as a mobility student for a maximum of two semesters. During this time, credits can be earned and ECTS points can be obtained.
    • Study as a regular student within the framework of the regular study programme.

     

    Admission criteria

    Auditor:

    • Currently residing in Switzerland and in possession of a B, F or N permit or assigned status S as a person deemed in need of protection.
    • Completed training or education that entitles the prospective student to be admitted to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programme in their country of origin.
    • Knowledge of the teaching language (German and/or English at level B1)

     

    Mobility student:

    • Currently residing in Switzerland and in possession of a B, F or N permit or assigned status S as a person deemed in need of protection.
    • Matriculation at a university in the country from which the prospective student fled.
    • Knowledge of the teaching language (German and/or English at level B2).

     

    Regular student:

    • The generally applicable admission requirements for the respective Bachelor’s or Masters’s degree programme must be met.
    • Knowledge of the teaching language:
      • Bachelor’s degree: German at level C1 and/or English at level B2/C1
      • Master’ degree: German and/or English at level C1

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Contact person: Manuela Rüdt

    E-Mail: restart.international@zhaw.ch

    Webseite

Universites of Education

  • Bern University of Teacher Education (PHBE) | CAS Teaching with a Foreign Teaching Diploma

    The course provides trained teachers with a foreign teaching diploma with basic knowledge of the Swiss education and school system. The CAS is aimed at teachers with a foreign teaching diploma who already teach in Swiss schools or who wish to enter the teaching profession. This course is not an official equivalent to an EDK teaching diploma, nor is it a compensatory measure within the meaning of the EDK regulations. The CAS enables participants to build on existing competences and strengthen their knowledge and practice for teaching in a Swiss primary school.

    The next CAS “Teaching with a foreign teaching diploma” will start on 7 November 2024 and the registration window is open until 16 August 2024. The final decision on the programme will be made after the application deadline and will depend on the number of applications.

    Offer

    • Module 1: Personal and professional development as a teacher
    • Module 2: School, school environment and cooperation
    • Module 3: Teaching in Swiss primary schools
    • Final module: Individual training concept
    • Access is open to teachers regardless of their current employment status.
    • The possibilities for crediting certificates of competence will be examined on a case-by-case basis.
    • The course starts on 7 November 2024 and takes place during the school holidays in block weeks and on Fridays and Saturdays (synchronous, asynchronous, online and on site).
    • The Canton of Bern covers the costs for people who live in the Canton of Bern and work or will work at a school in the Canton of Bern. Regular full price: CHF 6’800.00
    • 300 hours / 10 ECTS; part-time possible

     

     

    Admission criteria

    • Teachers with a foreign teaching diploma from a tertiary educational institution
    • Internationally recognised language diploma in German at level B2 or higher

     

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Contact person: Nathalie Glauser

    Email:  nathalie.glauser@phbern.ch

    Website (in German)

  • University of Teacher Education FHNW (PH FHNW) | Refugee Teachers - Insights into a Swiss School

    The University of Teacher Education FHNW (the Institute for Continuing Education and Counselling) offers trained teachers with a refugee background the possibility of classroom visits (“Insights into a Swiss School”) with Swiss colleagues at primary schools (grades 1-9).

    This is not a job training or internship and no subsequent employment at a school is possible.

    Offer

    • Introductory afternoon, two individually agreed, approx. half-day classroom visits and an evaluation event
    • Foreign teachers gain an insight into Swiss schools and learn about their school and everyday culture
    • The events and the school visits take place in German/English
    • If possible, the FHNW PH will put together the team members according to level-specific and regional aspects
    • Travel expenses are covered by the PH FHNW

     

     

    Admission criteria

    • You have acquired a teaching diploma for elementary school (Bachelor of Arts) in
      your home country as a teacher or teacher in a school and you have teaching experience in your home country.
    • You are rfugee and have a residence permit F or B or S and live in northwestern Switzerland (Aargau, Solothurn, Basel-Landschaft or Basel-Stadt).
    • You have oral English proficiency and / or German basic knowledge.
    • You have the possibility to visit two to three half-days a Swiss teacher at his/her school in northwestern Switzerland.

     

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Contact person: Mirja Furrer

    Email: mirja.furrer@fhnw.ch

    Website (in German)

  • Lucerne University of Education (PHLU) | ANGEL – Recognition of Diplomas of Refugee Teachers 

    The Lucerne University of Teacher Education supports refugee teachers in gaining a foothold in the Swiss education system, whether through support during the diploma recognition process with compensatory measures or through the development of targeted training and further education measures. The experience gained through the individual case flows into the awareness-raising work on entering the teaching profession in Switzerland for refugee teachers. During a one-and-a-half-year pilot project, an inventory of existing initiatives for refugee teachers at teacher training colleges will be compiled and the projects networked with each other. Particular attention will be paid to the high language requirements for studying at a university of teacher education or for taking up a professional teaching position.

    Offer

    • Support during the diploma recognition process
    • Development of targeted training and further education measures

     

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Contact person: Stefanie Rinaldi

    Email: stefanie.rinaldi@phlu.ch

    Website (in German)

  • Lucerne University of Education (PHLU) | Campus Lucerne for Refugees

    The integration pre-study program is an initiative of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, the University Lucerne and the Lucerne University of Teacher Education. The objective of the one-year pre-study program is to make it easier for well-educated and ambitious people with a refugee background to gain access to regular studies. The bridging offer is aimed at people with a residence permit B, F, S or N. As part of the integration pre-study program, refugees can attend German courses, mentoring offers and selected modules as auditors at one of the three universities from autumn 2024, depending on the intended focus of their studies.

    Offer

    • German language course level B2/C1
    • Modules as a auditors (selection from module offerings)
    • Mentoring by local students
    • Position talks by the coordination office
    • Participation in sports campus activities

     

    Admission criteria

    • Proof of school-leaving certificate from the country of origin/ equivalent qualification to study at our university
    • University experience or proof of studies completed abroad (admission is based on individual aptitude assessment)
    • Proof of language skills: German level B2
    • Written consent from the case management office (if available)
    • Minimum age: 18 years
    • Residence permit in Switzerland: B, F, S or N
    • Addictional criteria:
      • Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts: relevant work experience (can also be acquired after the integration pre-study)
      • University of Lucerne: Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university

    Application , Costs and Duration

    • The Campus Lucerne programme lasts two semesters; entry to the programme is possible in the autumn semester.
    • Information on the application process and deadlines can be found here.

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Contact persons: 

    • HSLU: Sandra Sommer & Jeremy Sigrist
    • UNILU: Uta Zehnder
    • PH Luzern: Anne Schillig

     

    Email: campusgefluechtete@hslu.ch

    Website

French-speaking Switzerland

Universities

  • University of Fribourg | Hérodote & Hérodote Plus

    The University of Fribourg offers two different programmes aimed at different target audiences:

    Hérodote

    Hérodote is a programme for refugees who have not yet reached a B2 level in their language of study but comply with the other conditions of admission of the University of Fribourg.

    Offer:

    • Language courses at the University Language Centre during 1-2 semesters in preparation for a language exam at level B2 (Goethe-Zertifikat for German or TCF for French).
    • Participate in lectures from their future discipline as listeners
    • Exchange with their mentor (through the student association OFI/OBI)

    Registration is possible until 30 November (Spring semester) or until 30 april (Autumn semester). The course costs CHF 3000.- per semester and admission to the university upon completion of the course is conditional on obtaining the required grade in the language exam.

    Hérodote Plus

    Hérodote Plus is a programme for refugees who have a university background but whose prior degrees (upper secondary education and/or university education) do not grant them admission to the University of Fribourg. Participation is possible for people aged 25 and over.

    Offer:

    • Language courses at the University Language Centre for 2 semesters
    • Participate in lectures from their future discipline as listeners
    • Exchange with their mentor (through the student association OFI/OBI)
    • Preparation for an admission exam at the end of the year

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Carmen Delgado: herodote@unifr.ch

    Website

    Media contributions

    RTS : Rentrée universitaire, Fribourg facilite l’accès aux études pour les réfugiés (18.09.2023)

  • University of Fribourg | Orientation - Education - Integration (OFI / OBI)

    OFI/OBI is a student association project which seeks to facilitate the access of refugees and asylum seekers to higher education. 

    Offer

    • Help for refugees in Switzerland to access higher education 
    • Assistance with administrative procedures and integration in campus life 

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Email: ofi-obi@unifr.ch 

    Facebook 

  • University of Geneva | Horizon académique

    Horizon académique is a modular programme which aims to facilitate the labour market integration of refugees and other sections of the population with comparable needs. It prepares participants for admission to higher education. 

    Offer

    • 1:1 academic and occupational assistance and guidance 
    • Intensive French classes  
    • Access to academic courses with option of sitting exams and acquiring ECTS credits 
    • Participation in university life and access to cultural and sports events and activities 
    • Peer mentoring and appropriate support from faculty staff 
    • Administrative assistance (registration as and ‘auditor’, i.e. no exams and no academic credits; enrolment in degree programme) and financial support. 

     

    Admission criteria 

    • Residence in the canton of Geneva (exception with declaration of consent from the competent social welfare authority)
    • Permit N, S, F, B (refugee or family reunion), Swiss nationals who have returned from abroad
    • Minimum age 18
    • Have started an academic programme and dropped out OR have not been able to start an academic programme after completing secondary school
    • Interest in a degree programme at a university in the Canton of Geneva

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Email: horizonacademique@unige.ch 

    Website

  • Graduate Institute Geneva | Horizon académique and Refugee Scholarships

    The Graduate Institute is a partner institute of the University of Geneva and is involved in the Horizon académique programme, which promotes the professional integration of refugees and other population groups with similar needs. Participants in the Horizon académique programme (see information above) can prepare for and apply to a Master’s programme at the Graduate Institute.

    In addition, the Graduate Institute offers an annual scholarship to one refugee student to cover living and study costs.

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Website of the Graduate Institute

    Information about Horizon académique

    Website

    Contact: horizonacademique@unige.ch.

    Information about the scholarship

    Website

    Contact: gisa.migrationinitiative@graduateinstitute.ch

  • University of Lausanne | Admission without secondary school leaving certificate

    The University of Lausanne (UNIL) offers two alternative admission options for people who do not have a (Swiss) secondary school leaving certificate. These are not explicitly aimed at refugees, but can also offer them an admission option:

    Entrance examination

    Applicants who are at least 20 years old and do not have a degree that allows them to enrol can be admitted to a Bachelor’s degree programme at the faculties and schools of UNIL after passing a prior entrance examination. Registration for the exam is also possible for refugees with B and F status.

    The exam consists of several disciplines, the content of which varies depending on the desired faculty. Passing the exam allows access to the faculty or school for which the exam is taken. This option is available for all UNIL degree programmes.

    Admission sur dossier

    Admission sur dossier is reserved for applicants who have reached the age of 25, have at least three years of professional experience and fulfil other requirements equivalent to those required for the preliminary examination.

    Applicants must prove that they have acquired knowledge comparable to that required for a baccalaureate.

    Admission sur dossier allows access to the degree programme for which an application has been submitted. This option is available for all degree programmes at UNIL, with the exception of the École de français langue étrangère (School of French as a Foreign Language).

    Further information: Website

  • University of Lausanne | UNIL without Borders

    Unil sans frontières (Usf) provides support and assistance to refugees (N, F, B or S residence permits) who are interested in studying for the first time or continuing their education at Lausanne University. 

    Offer 

    • Range of free-of-charge services: administrative assistance (enrolment in degree programme/registration as ‘auditor’); help with scholarship applications; improving proficiency in language of study; integration in campus life. 
    • Social and other outreach events 
    • Establishment of channels of communication and cooperation with university teaching and integration service staff 

     

    Admission criteria

    •   For refugees with N, F, B or S residence permit

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Email: unilsansfrontieres@asso-unil.ch 

    Website 

  • University of Neuchâtel | Escabeau program

    The Escabeau program aims to facilitate the integration of refugees and asylum seekers in Switzerland. The program is designed to facilitate their integration by offering them several possibilities:

    • improving their French language skills through language courses at the Institut de langue et civilisation françaises (ILCF) (from A2 to C1)
    • persue a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programme depending on their academic background. The newly created integration programme offers the possibility of conditional admission. If 30 ECTS credits are earned over the course of two semesters, regular enrolment is possible
    • pursue a CAS d’intégration as a complement to a foreign university degree
    • benefit from the support of a mentor during their studies at UniNE

     

    Who can participate in the Escabeau program?

    The Escabeau program is open to refugees in Switzerland who hold a B (refugee), F, N or S residence permit.

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    E-mail: escabeau.programme@unine.ch

    Website (in french)

    Media coverage

    rtn: Le programme Escabeau porte ses fruits à l’UniNE (27.2.2024)

  • The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) | Information for Refugees

    Refugees who wish to gain access to EPFL’s Bachelor’s degree programmes in order to obtain an academic or professional qualification can use one of the following three options:

    • Admission via the specialised mathematics course (CMS)
    • Admission examination (Examination programme)
    • Admission directly to the regular degree programme if the admission requirements are met

     

    Refugees also have the option of gaining access to EPFL courses without seeking to obtain credits or an academic or professional title:

     

    Additional support:

    • For students with refugee status: Coaching to facilitate their entry into university life
    • For auditors with refugee status: Mentoring by students. Registration can be made after enrolment as an auditor by e-mail to mentorat@agepoly.ch

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Contact point: Guichet des “services aux étudiant·es”

    E-Mail: services.etudiants@epfl.ch

    Further information: Webseite

Universities of Applied Sciences

  • HEIG-VD Vaud | INTREF (INVOST)

    The aim of the INTREF programme is to enable refugees to take up a Bachelor’s degree in one of the engineering courses at HEIG-VD with the help of a preparatory year.

    Offer

    • Before the start of the semester, participation in semi-intensive courses in French possible (depending on initial level)
    • Participation as a guest student in selected courses of the degree programme for a maximum of 12 ECTS credits
    • French courses via the Altissia platform
    • Coaching by peers
    • Participation in events organised by the International Office
    • Participation in examinations, awarding of virtual ECTS points
    • Participation in the preparatory semester of the engineering department at HEIG-VD possible

     

    Admission criteria

    • Persons with N, F, S status as well as B and C refugees
    • Fulfilment of the requirements of the HES-SO/Swissuniversities (upper secondary level) or recognised degree at Bachelor level
    • Knowledge of French B2
    • Admission possible in some cases after application and passing the EXAD exam (entrance exam for engineers)

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Website HEIG-VD

    Contact person: Christopher Martellet, Head of the Centre for International Relations HEIG-VD

    E-Mail: christopher.martellet@heig-vd.ch 

  • University of Applied Sciences Geneva (HES-SO) | Horizon académique

    Horizon académique is a modular programme which aims to facilitate the labour market integration of refugees and other sections of the population with comparable needs. It prepares participants for admission to higher education. It is offered in partnership with the University of Geneva and the Geneva Graduate Institute. After completing the bridging programme, students can be admitted to all degree programmes at the HES-SO Geneva.

    Offer

    • 1:1 academic and occupational assistance and guidance 
    • Intensive French classes  
    • Access to academic courses with option of sitting exams and acquiring ECTS credits 
    • Participation in university life and access to cultural and sports events and activities 
    • Peer mentoring and appropriate support from faculty staff 
    • Administrative assistance (registration as and ‘auditor’, i.e. no exams and no academic credits; enrolment in degree programme) and financial support. 

     

    Admission criteria 

    • Residence in the canton of Geneva (exception with declaration of consent from the competent social welfare authority)
    • Permit N, S, F, B (refugee or family reunion), Swiss nationals who have returned from abroad
    • Minimum age 18
    • Have started an academic programme and dropped out OR have not been able to start an academic programme after completing secondary school
    • Interest in a degree programme at a university in the Canton of Geneva

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Email: horizonacademique@unige.ch 

    Information about Horizon académique: Website

    Informationen about the HES-SO Geneva: Website

     

  • University of Applied Sciences Valais-Wallis (HES-SO) | Roadmap to Study (INVOST)

    The Roadmap to Study programme is a preparatory year for refugees (residence status N, F, B or S) with the aim of studying at the HES-SO Valais-Wallis School of Social Work, School of Art and School of Engineering (Computer Science and Communication Systems and Systems Engineering courses). The programme lasts 12 months and prepares participants for admission to a Bachelor’s degree course.

    Offer

    • Individual evaluation (skills assessment)
    • Attendance of lectures with guest student status, including participation in examinations. If the examinations are passed, the ECTS credits are distributed virtually. The virtual ECTS credits will be recognised upon definitive enrolment.
    • Language courses at the HES-SO Valais-Wallis
    • Short internship in the chosen field of study
    • Individual coaching for 12 months by our coaches
    • Mentoring by a student
    • If required, the HES-SO Valais-Wallis will provide a laptop

     

    Admission criteria

    • Strong interest in the field of social work, design and art or engineering (either practical experience and/or a degree in social work, design/art or engineering)
    • Level B1 in French or German

     

    FURTHER INFORMATION

    Contact person: Amel Mafoud

    E-Mail: amel.mahfoudh@hevs.ch

    Website (in German and French)

  • School of Social Work Fribourg (HETS) | AlterEgauZ (INVOST)

    At the Fribourg School of Social Work, highly-qualified refugees and asylum seekers who have immigrated to Switzerland have the opportunity to start or resume higher education studies. The Perspectives AlterEgauZ bridging programme enables them to prepare for their entry into higher education and, subsequently, to improve their integration into the world of work thanks to better qualifications.

    Offer 

    • Attend modules of the regular Bachelor’s degree programme as a guest student with the opportunity to take exams and earn virtual ECTS credits
    • Access to HES-SO services, including Contact Student Counselling and HELP psychological and social counselling
    • Access to HES-SO language courses (Altissima programme) and courses at the University of Fribourg Language Centre
    • Specific support modules for refugee students and their mentors
    • Support from student mentors (peer-to-peer)
    • Individual support from a professor
    • Internships in the social field

     

    Admission criteria 

    • Interest and motivation for the professions of social work and training at the university of applied sciences
    • Fulfil the admission requirements of the university of applied sciences
    • Be able to express yourself in French: Through immersion in the programme and access to the HES-SO language tandems, participants should have reached a level of B2 or higher by the end of the programme.
    • Have an N, F, B or C refugee card
    • Receive support from an integration organisation (Caritas, ORS)

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Contact person: Marie-Christine Ukelo-Mbolo Merga 

    Email: marie-christine.ukelo@hefr.ch 

    Website (in French)

    Media coverage

    INLINE: Nachhaltige Integration dank FH-Bildung (22.02.2023)

  • School of Social Work and Health Lausanne (HETSL) | Education without borders (INVOST)

    The aim of HETSL’s Formation sans frontières programme is to give people from asylum backgrounds access to tertiary education and, more generally, to promote their integration in Switzerland. Each year 4 people can take part in the programme.

    Offer

    • Participation in two modules as a guest student, including the respective exams. By passing the exams, participants receive virtual ECTS points that can be credited to their Bachelor’s degree programme
    • Support from student mentors
    • Support in the admission procedure

     

    Admission criteria

    • Individuals must be able to follow lessons in French, participate in class discussions and have an appropriate academic background to pursue tertiary-level education
    • No previous degree required

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Contact person: Oana Ruxandra Ciobanu, Professor at HETSL

    Email: Oana.ciobanu@hetsl.ch

    Website (in French)

Italian-speaking Switzerland

  • Franklin University of Switzerland | Scholarships without Borders

    Scholarships Without Borders would like to enable refugees to study on a regular basis and therefore supports two students each year with a scholarship that covers all university costs. Depending on language skills and previous academic knowledge, students can either start a regular degree programme directly or complete an individually tailored bridging course first.

    Offer 

    • Participation in an international summer school program on human rights, leadership skills, and the role of higher education in the process of integration and in the rebuilding of war-torn countries.
    • Academic and personal support from a close network of faculty advisors, peer mentors and professional staff
    • Intensive English courses
    • Language course in a Swiss national language
    • Participation in university sports and access to libraries and electronic resources
    • Full or supplementary financial coverage of study costs and academic travel.

     

    Admission criteria  

    • The programme has accepted students who live in the canton of Ticino. However, Scholarships without Borders is open to all student refugees (provided that a solution to their residence status can be found). 
    • F, B or S residence permit; school-leaving qualifications (e.g. Baccalaureate) from country of origin 
    • English language skills: B1 level or higher 

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION

    Contact person: Caroline Wiedmer 

    Email: cwiedmer@fus.edu  

    Website

  • USI | Access for refugees

    The project at the USI aims to facilitate access to university studies for qualified with a refugee background. 

    Offer

    • The possibility to access to courses as a guest student  
    • Pre-enrolment access to Italian and/or Englisch language classes 
    • Support and tutoring  
    • Reduced registration fee
    • For refugee students that have been admitted to regular study programs, the USI offers support and tutoring.  
    • For job-seeking graduates, there is the possibility of having continued access to some courses with reduced registration fee. 

     

    CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION 

    Contact person: Maurizia Ruinelli 

    Email: maurizia.ruinelli@usi.ch 

    Website 

2023-10-31_EN_AKTUELLE VERSION_Übersichtskarte_Förderprojekte

Are you involved in a university project and the information is missing on the overview and/or in our contact list? Or is there information about your project that is not yet available here yet? Please get in touch with us: perspektiven-studium@vss-unes.ch.

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