Voluntary initiatives for refugees at HU


HU members are actively engaged in various ways of supporting refugees. Many initiatives create “Spaces of Encounter”, offer advice on issues regarding studies or everyday life, or provide support with language learning.

A selection of them can be found here. References to other HU initiatives are welcome (via E-mail to koordination.welcome@hu-berlin.de).



Student support programmes in the Faculties


In many HU faculties, student initiatives support refugees in the early stages of student life as well as with issues regarding asylum law. Thanks to funding from the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) programme “Welcome - Students Helping Refugees“, Humboldt-Universität is able to focus on strengthening these initiatives and monitoring them on an interdisciplinary level.

On the initiative of its own Welcome projects, HU organised the first nation-wide student conference for the Welcome programmes (Welcome-StudiKon) in October 2017. More than 100 engaged participants from all over Germany used the conference as a platform to exchange their experiences of the past two years. The conference also enabled the students to extend their expert knowledge in the field of refugee support in Higher Education and to enforce the development of a common network.

Only available in German: Ergebnisbroschüre of Welcome-StudiKon


"Shaping Future" initiative at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

As part of the Geography Department, the project "Zukunft gestalten" ("Shaping future") offers monthly workshops about studying and working in Germany. In the mentoring programme, the initiative looks for "student buddies" who will assist refugees interested in study with both university-related and everyday issues. The intitiative also offers counselling and support services - especially for the university degrees at the faculty, i.e. Chemistry, Geography, Mathematics, Computer Sciences and Physics.

Website: Refugee Welcome Geography Department
Contact: zukunft.gestalten@hu-berlin.de
Flyer: Shaping Future (Jan 2019)


Refugee Law Clinic e.V. at the Faculty of Law

Refugee Law Clinic Berlin e.V. is an initiative of HU students and doctoral candidates from various fields. It aims to provide students with knowledge of asylum and immigration law, while, at the same time, offering free, competent and multilingual legal advice for refugees and migrants in Berlin.

Website: Refugee Law Clinic
Contact: info@rlc-berlin.org
Flyer: Refugee Law Clinic (Jan 2019)


Wiwi Welcome at the School of Business and Economics

The Wiwi Welcome initiative aims to promote the integration of refugees at the School of Business and Economics on both an academic and social level. To achieve this, a project is being developed that accounts for the refugees’ needs, offers short-term solutions, while, at the same time, develops long-term prospects. Some of the things offered include tutorials subject-specific and linguistic support as well as a buddy programme.

Website: WiWi-Welcome
Contact: wiwi-welcome@hu-berlin.de
Flyer: Wiwi Welcome (Jan 2019)


LeWi Welcome at the Faculty of Life Sciences

The LeWi Welcome initiative at the Faculty of Life Sciences focuses on providing refugees with an easier entry into studies and on supporting them with the integration into university life as well as into the student community. For this purpose, the initiative offers a weekly Language Café, a mentoring programme and joint cultural activities.

Website: LeWi-Welcome
Contact: welcome.lewi@hu-berlin
Flyer: LeWi Welcome (Jan 2019)


Welcome Tandems at the Faculties of Humanities & Social Sciences

The programme Welcome Tandems of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is a student initiative which is located at the Berlin Institute for Integration and Migration Research. The initiative facilitates an exchange of knowledge and experience on an equal footage, with the aim to create supporting and personal contacts, to deconstruct stereotypes and to simplify the access for refugees to institutions of higher education. The exchange and with each other shall be provided on two levels: on the one hand by building up tandems – composed of students of Humboldt-Universität and refugees – and on the other hand by regularly organised seminars.

Website: Welcome Tandems
Contact: welcome-tandems-bim@hu-berlin.de
Flyer: Welcome Tandems (Jan 2019)


Further HU initiatives for refugees


Promoting an interest in the sciences among refugee youth (cross-faculty project)

A programme designed to promote an interest in the sciences among refugee youth is being piloted at Campus Adlershof of Humboldt-Universität. The programme is carried out at UniLab Adlershof whose years of expertise as a teaching and learning laboratory will be put at our disposal in the form of modules. These tried and tested UniLab modules are adapted for refugee youth in teacher training classes for general studies and then carried out with refugee children.

Contact: sabine.erbstoesser@hu-berlin.de and jurik.stiller@hu-berlin.de
Website: Promoting interest in sciences among refugee youth (German only)


Devugees – web developer training, Venture Service of Humboldt-Universität

The HU Venture Service supports the start-up “Digital Career Institute”. With Devugees, this startup company runs an advanced training programme for refugees and recognised asylum seekers interested in entering the German job market with a technical qualification. In no more than 12 weeks, they can be trained as web developers and enter a professional field within the Berlin startup and tech scene that will open doors for them all over the world. The start-up is based at the HU Venture Service Adlershof.

Website: Devugees




Ulrike Spangenberg
Main contact HU initiatives “Refugees Welcome”
Project coordinator
Unter den Linden
10117 Berlin
Raum 2245a
Tel.: +49 30 2093-46712