Information for Refugees
As an internationally established university, the University of Kassel welcomes refugees in its courses and research projects.
The staff members of the refugee coordination will help you to achieve your academic goals and continue your higher education. Here you obtain information and counselling on the following topics:
- Application and admission to higher education
- Acceptance of foreign certificates
- Language requirements and German classes
- Student finance
- Options for refugees in case of missing documents
- Orientation opportunities
- Cultural and social offers
- Other counselling services at the university and the city of Kassel
Information for refugees about academic education
The refugee guidance and coordination supports and advises people with refugee background individually and - of course - confidentially. A special focus of our work lies in helping refugee women to achieve their academic goals. The university cooperates with diverse institutions and initiatives in the city and district of Kassel. Especially in the field of education opportunities and counselling services for refugees active networking plays an important role to provide extensive information. In research and academic courses the topic area "flight and migration" plays an important role.
How to apply for university with foreign certificates
Regardless of their residential status, refugees can study at German universities if they meet the regular admission requirements. People with foreign education certificates must provide:
- Proof of university entrance qualification
(certified and translated school-leaving certificates; if avainable university degree)
- Adequate German language skills
- Proof of health insurance
As an international applicant you have to send your application to uni-assist - instead of sending your application directly to the University of Kassel. Uni-assist checks whether your international school-leaving certificates (and university diplomas) meet the formal requirements for studying at a German university. Two scenarios are possible for an admission:
- Scenario 1
If your higher education entrance qualifications are recognised as equal to a German secondary school leaving certificate (Abitur), you get a direct admission. After you have passed the German Language Examination for University Students (DSH) or the TestDAF you can start your studies.
- Scenario 2
If your higher education entrance qualifications are not fully accepted, you might get an indirect admission. In this case you need to attend the one-year preparatory course (Studienkolleg) and pass the university entrance examination (Prüfung zur Feststellung der Hochschulreife).
You can use ANABIN database to check whether your certificates entitle you to a direct or indirect admission to a German university.
Find here further information about the application process with foreign certificates.
Important note: The free application procedure for refugees via uni-assist is no longer offered.
All applicants with international certificates must now pay the regular handling fees.
International student applications to the University of Kassel and many other German universities are processed by uni-assist.
|Deadlines for applications|
For preparatory courses (Studienkolleg)
In addition to your digital application you must send important documents by post.
Required documents are:
- A fully completed and signed application form
- Certificates that entitle you to study at a university in your home country
- Certificates and transcripts from your previous university course - if you have studied before
- Proof(s) of German language proficiency
Uni-assist requires these certificates in form of certified photocopies, in English language or certified translations into German, instead of the original documents.
Please note that the admission requirements vary for each study course. Additional documents, e.g. proof of English language skills, a motivation letter or a letter of reference, may be necessary for certain courses. Make sure that you are well informed about the individual admission requirements for each course.
Please send your application documents to the following address:
As a refugee you may not be able to submit any or all of the required documents to prove your university entrance qualification. In this case, there is the possibility to submit a filled out self-disclosure form via uni-assist in order to apply for studies.
For most university courses and related specialised literature a high German level is necessary and must be proven (except for completely English-taught Master`s programs). Passing one of the following language examinations, entitles you to study at the University of Kassel: DSH 2, TestDaF 4*4, Goethe certificate C2, telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule.
An application is possible from B2-level on (B1 level for Studienkolleg). Before classes start (> enrolment) you must submit the missing proofs of laguague efficiency.
The Language Centre (ISZ) of the University of Kassel offers the DSH exam and preparatory language courses. If you have a B2 level and can prove that you have attended 800 German lessons, you can attend a 13-week preparation course for the DSH examination. If you have already passed the C1 level exam and can prove that you have attended 1000 German lessons, you can directly take the DSH examination. Please note that access to the DSH examination at the University of Kassel is only possible with an indirect admission to study – i.e. after you have successfully applied via uni-assist.
Due to the very high demand for the DSH courses at the University of Kassel, we recommend you considering other DSH examination centres and dates elsewhere in Germany as well. Find detailed information about the individual courses and entry requirements on the website of the German Language Examination for University Students (DSH).
If you are interested in the TestDAF examination as an alternative to the DSH exam, you can find information about the examination centres and dates on the websites of the TestDAF institute. We recommend likewise to register early for the TestDAF examination.
Further information on the language requirements for studying at the University of Kassel can be found on the website language requirements.
How to finance your studies
The University of Kassel does not charge tuition fees. However, a semester contribution must be paid, which currently costs 293.45 € (winter term 2020/21). This fee includes the semester ticket. For students in difficult finacial situations, there is a possibility to get the semester ticket fee refunded. For more information (in German):
Find a summary about the living expenses in Germany on the websites of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
Under certain preconditions it is possible to obtain financial support by the Federal Law on Support for Education and Training – known as BAföG – for university studies. This is also an option for DSH and preparatory courses (Studienkolleg).
The highest amount of support under BAföG for students is 861€ per month (winter semester 20/21). Finacial support for pupils (in DSH and preparatory courses) is slightly lower. Refugees who have completed their asylum procedure are eligible for BAföG, as long as they apply properly and meet all requirements. If you have any questions, please contact our colleagues at the student services organisation (Studierendenwerk).
Applicants who are still in the asylum procedure can request the continued payment of asylum seekers benefits (Asylbewerberleistungen) at the funding angency (e.g. social office).
The Hessen State Ministry for Higher Education, Research, Science and the Arts awards HessenFonds scholarships for particularly gifted students, PhD candidates and researcher with a refugee background. The scholarship enables recipients to start or continue their university studies or pursue an academic career.
At the moment an application for the HessenFonds scholarship is not possible!
Application deadline for a funding starting in April 2020 was December 10th 2019.
News concerning the HessenFonds will be pusblished here.
Amount of funding:
The scholarship provides the following financial funding, initially for two terms:
- Students: EUR 300 per month
- PhD candidates: EUR 1.150 per month
- Researcher: EUR 2.000 per month
Please read more about the requirements for eligibility in the application documentsbelow.
Please submit your complete application documents personally, or send them by post to:
z.H. Frau Anna Luisa Sümmermann
We recommend a personal consultation before applying. The University of Kassel checks the requirements and nominates especially qualified candidates to the Hessen State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts. It is not possible to apply to the ministry directly.
In addition to BAföG, scholarships are a way of financing studies for particularly engaged students with good or very good grades. We prepared an overview of the main funding institutions for you. Furthermore numerous smaller foundations exist. Also take a look at the DAAD scholarship database, where you can find the most suitable scholarship depending on your country of origin, student status and area of specialisation. You can also find further information on scholarships on the Career Service website.
Heinrich Böll Stiftung (Grüne)
Evangelisches Studienwerk (protestant)
Avicenna Studienwerk (islamic)
Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk (jewish)
Other foundations and scholarships:
Assistance and integration programmes
The mentoring programme 3x3 is organised by the Kassel Volunteers’ Centre. It aims to connect people and wants to contribute to mutual integration and better intercultural understanding. The programme comprises three meetings, each lasting about three hours, between a local mentor and a young refugee. Participants decide together how they want to spend their common time.
The equal opportunities office at the University of Kassel advises (future) students of all genders. Our colleagues can suport you to combine university studies with mother-/fatherhood and child care or in case of discrimination.
The DAAD-funded project Welcome - students helping refugees, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), includes numerous student initiatives. They focus on making it easier for refugees to start studying at German universities, to be and get integrated on campus.
Nice people, cultural exchange, international food, music, karaoke or simply a pleasant get-together with students from all over the world - that is the CampusClub of the student services organisation. It takes place regularly during the semester:
Every Monday from 19.00 h in the Max Kade Haus (Universitätsplatz 1)