Information for Refugees
The city of Kassel has become a place of refuge for many people who have had to flee war, persecution, poverty and hopelessness. As a centre of learning with an international approach, the University of Kassel recognizes its special responsibility towards these people. The University of Kassel sees students from foreign countries as a source of cultural enrichment, welcomes them to attend lectures, and supports their contribution to research.
Admission Requirements for international applicants
Regardless of their residential status, refugees can study at the University of Kassel if they meet the usual admission requirements. People interested in studying with foreign educational certificates must provide:
Proof of higher education entrance qualifications (a notarised school-leaving certificate, the translation must be in German or English)
Instead of sending their applications directly to the University of Kassel, international student applicants must send their applications to uni-assist. Uni-assist checks whether the international school-leaving qualifications and university certificates meet the formal requirements for studying at a university in Germany. Two scenarios are possible for admission to a German university:
- 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 to the University of Kassel. After you have passed the German Language Examination for University Students (DSH) or the TestDAF 4*4 you can start your studies.
- Scenario 2
If your higher education entrance qualifications are not fully accepted, you get an indirect admission. You will need to attend the one-year preparatory course (Studienkolleg) and have to 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 and see whether you need to attend the one-year preparatory course.
Further information of the application process with foreign certificates at the University of Kassel, you will find on our website.
Useful links and documents:
International student applications at the University of Kassel are processed by the service of uni-assist.
|Deadlines for applications|
For the preparatory course before studies
Art courses (fine arts, product design, visual communications)
Required documents are:
- A fully completed and signed application form
- A national certificate that entitles you to study at a university in your home country
- Certificates, transcripts of records or transcripts about your previous course at a university, if you have already studied
- A certificate of proficiency in the German language
Uni-assist requires notarised photocopies and notarised German translations of certificates, instead of the original documents. You only have to submit these documents to uni-assist once, even if you are applying to several universities.
Please note that the admission requirements may 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. We advise you to make sure that you are well informed about the individual admission requirements for each course.
Please send your completed application documents to the following address:
The DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) finances a free assessment at uni-assist for refugees. Refugees can apply for cost exemption at uni-assist and then apply for up three uni-assist universities free of charge. Each additional application costs EUR 15.
Additional help for a successful application:
- uni-assist checklist
- Guidelines "uni-assist explained step by step"
Some refugees may not be able to submit all the required documents in order to prove that they are qualified for university admission. To find a solution, discussions are currently taking place at different political levels to find alternatives for applicants with missing or incomplete documents. As soon as we can provide alternative ways to verify admission to the University of Kassel, we will inform you. If you do not (yet) meet the formal requirements for admission, the guest student programme or registering with Kiron may be alternatives for you.
For the most courses and the related literature, an excellent English level is necessary. Passing one of the following German examinations, entitles you to study at the University of Kassel: DSH 2, TestDaF 4*4, Goethe certificate C2, telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule.
The International Study Centre (ISC)/Language Centre at the University of Kassel offers a preparatory language course for the DSH-certificate. 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 external 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 external DSH examination. Please note that access to the DSH examination at the University of Kassel is only possible with a restricted admission to study – i.e. after you have successfully applied to uni-assist.
Detailed information about the individual courses dates and entry requirements you can find on the website of the German Language Examination for University Students (DSH). Due to the very high demand for the DSH courses at the University of Kassel, we recommend considering other DSH examination centres and dates elsewhere in Germany as well.
If you are interested in the TestDAF examination in addition or as an alternative to the DSH exams, you can find all the relevant information about the examination centres and dates on the website of the TestDAF institute. We recommend you to register for the TestDAF examination early.
Are you still waiting for an open place in a language course? Alternatively, are you interested in improving your German at home? The Erasmus+ Online Linguistic Support (OLS) for refugees offers you the opportunity to improve your current language level on a very individual base. The OLS courses are free of charge and can be accessed from anywhere in the world. You only need a well-functioning internet connection.
Opportunities of Financing for Refugees
The University of Kassel does not charge any tuition fees, as a matter of principle. However, you have to pay semester fees and for the WS 2017/18, they currently amount EUR 282, 47. This fee also includes your semester ticket. For Students who face financial difficulties because of their social background, the semester ticket be refunded in some cases.
You can find a summary of the living expenses in Germany on the website of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
In certain circumstances for the DSH course, the preparatory course or subsequent studies at the University of Kassel is possible to obtain financial support by the Federal Law on Support for Education and Training – known as BAföG. The maximum financial support during the 2017/18 winter semester are EUR 590, 00 per month if people are attending courses to prepare them for the university (e.g. DSH course of preparatory courses). Students that are already studying at the university may receive up to EUR 735, 00 per month.
If you have any other questions, please contact our colleagues at the Kassel student services organisation.
The Hessen State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts awards "HessenFonds" scholarships for particularly gifted students, PhD candidates and academics with a refugee background. The scholarship serves to enable recipients to start or continue their studies or pursue an academic career at any state-run university in Hessen.
The scholarship provides the following funding for two terms:
- students: EUR 300 per month
- PhD candidates: EUR 1.150 per month
- scientists: EUR 2.000 per month
Please read the conditions for eligibility - find more information under “Application Documents”.
Please hand in your complete application documents personally, or send it by post to:
z.H. Frau Anna Luisa Sümmermann
Application deadline for a funding starting in April 2020 is December 10th 2019. 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 directly to the ministry.
Apart from BAföG, scholarships represent an additional way of financing your studies. Have a look at the DAAD’s Scholarship Database – you may find a suitable scholarship for yourself, depending on your country of origin, student status and faculty.
Scholarships for refugees from the Hans-Böckler-Foundation
The Hans-Böckler Foundation offers students with a refugee background the opportunity to apply for a scholarship. The support initially amounts to EUR 300 per month for one year.
Interested applicants should not only provide evidence of excellent results at school, but also have been actively involved in society (as a volunteer, politically etc.) and be willed to continue their social engagement during their studies. As a formal requirement, you need to be entitled to BAföG.
Scholarships from the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation
The Friedrich-Ebert Foundation supports gifted international students during a bachelor’s degree with up to EUR 650 per month and during a master´s degree with EUR 750 per month. Candidates must have an excellent knowledge of German. Please apply directly to the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation online. Before submitting your application, please read the information on the special features of the scholarship, the conditions and the application procedure at the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation’s website.
Sholarships from the Heinrich Böll Foundation
The Heinrich Böll foundation supports students with a refugee background with a high level of social engagement. The deadline for applications for the winter semester is the 01st March and for the summer semester, it is the 01st September. Please apply directly online to the Heinrich Böll foundation with your completed set of documents.
Support and Integration Programmes
A friendly get-together between students and prospective students with a refugee background takes places every Thursday at 5.30 p.m. in Asta Küche (Nora-Platiel-Strasse 2).
Those taking part can enjoy board games or other activities in a relaxed atmosphere. The meetings are often taking place in a park during the summer. This regular meeting promotes the process of cross-cultural exchange at the University of Kassel and provides refugees with the opportunity to meet students, to make social contacts and to improve their knowledge of German. Students, who are already enrolled at the University of Kassel, can share their experiences with refugees. They can provide assistance as they start their studies, help them find their way around the university campus and enable them to feel more integrated. The meetings are open to all. We are really looking forward to seeing you. Your contact person is Theresa Klimpel: firstname.lastname@example.org
It contributes to help integrating people who have come to Germany to escape problems at home, including war, persecution and poverty and who are looking for security in our society. The programme involves three meetings, each lasting about three hours, between a student mentor and a young refugee. The goal is to exchange perspectives of each other’s living environment. Participates decide how they would like to spend their day.
If you are interested in participating as a mentor or a refugee, please register at kv[at]freiwilligenzentrumkassel[dot]de.
Guest lecture programme
Your wish is to study, but you do not yet meet the formal requirements for studying? By participating in the guest lecture programme (only in German), you can already orientate yourself at the University of Kassel and get to know the German higher education system by taking part in regular courses together with already existing students.