This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Refugees Initiative

A Map focusing on the 3 partners'countries represented within the partnership identifying the integration activities carried out investigating regulatory measures of integration undertaken directly by universities.

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TITLE OF THE INITIATIVE

MORE Project

INSTITUTION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INITIATIVE

Johannes Kepler University Linz

COUNTRY

Austria

CITY

Linz

ADDRESS

Altenberger Straße 69 - 4040

Contact person:
Mark Stegmayer
e-mail: [email protected]

TYPOLOGY

- Financial support for refugee students
- Help desk and supporting services for refugee students
- Language and other introductory courses for refugee students
- Social Events
- Tutoring and peer support for refugee students
- University policies on access to higher education

TARGET GROUPS

- Newly arrived refugees

DESCRIPTION AND METHODOLOGIES

MORE is an Austrian national programme started in 2015. This is the complete list of participating public universities and the related contact persons: https://uniko.ac.at/organisation/mitglieder/universitaeten/
The prime goal of the MORE program is to assist refugees in accessing higher education and obtaining a university degree. The program setup takes into account the specific challenges faced by this group, such as, for example, the need to acquire excellent language proficiency, non-accessible school certificates, financial strain, cultural differences in teaching methods and learning, coping with uncertainty during the asylum procedure, etc. More specifically, the Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU) MORE program consists of two parts. The MOREclassic program is for refugee students who are enrolled in a pre-study program. The Borealis-MORE-Scholarship provides financial aid for degree-seeking students already enrolled at the university.

Activities
The MOREclassic program has been implemented in 2015 and addresses refugees and asylum-seekers who have been admitted to a pre-study program at JKU in order to take required supplementary examinations – in most cases German language capacities - before being accepted to a degree program.
Taking part in the MOREclassic program entails:
- Receiving a scholarship to pay for tuition fees
- Reducing the course fees in the pre-study program to 5% (asylum-seekers and those with subsidiary protection status) or 15% (those with asylum status)
- Travel allowance to commute to university
- Regularly scheduled meetings for information and social exchange
Since 2017 the MOREclassic program has been complemented by the Borealis -MORE-Scholarship. Students in this program have the opportunity to start a degree program of their choice. In return, the students sign a so-called "Learning Agreement", defining a realistic work package for each term and heightening student commitment.
Taking part in the Borealis-MORE-Scholarship means:
- Monthly scholarship between €110,- and €300,- (depending on asylum status)
- Receiving a scholarship to pay for tuition fees
- Travel allowance to commute to university
- “Learning-agreement” which defines a realistic plan for each semester and feedback evaluation after every semester
- Regularly scheduled meetings for information and social exchange
- Financial support for purchasing books and other learning materials. books and other learning materials.
- Assistance in obtaining admission to university and specific study programs
- Application with interview in all two parts
- Learning Agreement with evaluation and feedback after each semester
- Accompanying seminar (introduction to university structures, learning tips, etc.)
- Regular meetings and events (with the aims of providing both relevant information and social support)
- Diverse workshops in different areas such as, for example, stress management
- Regular round tables with guests for networking
- Leisure-time activities (e.g. participation at Linz Marathon 2019).

RESULTS AND IMPACT

Impacts of the MORE project:
- There are already graduates from the program
- Better chance to finish the preparatory phase at the university due to application, the reduced course fees and support by the project members
- Improved knowledge of German and contribution to integration in Austrian Society
- Less financial insecurity due to the monthly stipends and travel allowances
- We have currently 24 students in the Borealis-MORE-Scholarship and 18 students in the MORE classic program, moreover, there are students on waiting lists for the next semester.

Strengths
- 5 years of experience
- Support of university faculties from different departments
- The MOREclassic students can concentrate on learning the German language
- The Borealis-MORE-Scholarship builds on the classic program and provides assistance during the students’ transition into their targeted study programs and “normal” university life, respectively.

Challenges
- Financial issues
- Changing regulations at universities
- Sustainability, the program depends strongly on persons, integration in the general Diversity-Program and in the administrative structure of the university are required for long term success
For the students:
- The fear of being deported from the country
- Strict regulations at language courses at the university which are in conflict with requirements by the asylum-seeking process (e.g. time conflict with interview at the court).