Bard College Berlin to offer five full scholarships for refugee students from Syria and other areas of crisis

7.02.2017

Bard College Berlin is proud and grateful to announce five privately funded full four-year scholarships for refugee students from Syria and other areas of crisis for the academic year 2017/2018.


The private donors are Nina Baroness von Maltzahn, British artist Tracey Emin CBE RA, Belgian gallery owner Xavier Hufkens and two additional anonymous givers. Three of the five scholarships are specifically designated for refugee students from Syria.

The scholarships are part of the Program for International Education and Social Change and enable the accepted students to complete Bard College Berlin’s four-year undergraduate program. Students who meet all requirements will receive a dual American and German B.A. degree. The program started at Bard College Berlin in the previous academic year, when the first four refugee students from Syria on fully funded scholarships enrolled. The private donations of Euro 80,000 each are matched by a contribution from Bard College, which brings the real value of each scholarship to over Euro 120,000 for four years of study.

Applicants are expected to have a strong record of community engagement and a well-articulated social mission, which they intend to pursue during their studies and in future, whether in their countries of origin or internationally. They should be forced migrants or refugees, have a proven record of academic achievement, proficiency in English, and should be in need of full financial support. In case of missing documentation, the admissions department will fully cooperate to help find a solution. Applicants can apply via the Bard College Berlin website. The scholarship covers the full cost of tuition, room and board, all applicable fees, monthly transport within Berlin, as well as travel and incidentals, including books and other study materials.

“The intellectual commitment and artistic achievements of the four Syrian refugee students who began their studies at Bard College Berlin last summer have heightened political awareness at a college that has its foundation in connecting education with the values of a free, open and pluralistic society,” said Catherine Toal, Dean of Bard College Berlin. “These students, deeply impressive as individuals in their resilience and dedication, have made an important contribution to a community that already represents an enormous variety of historical and cultural experience.” “Bard has a long and active tradition in the field of civic engagement and social responsibility.” added Kerry Bystrom, Associate Dean and Professor of English Literature and Human Rights, “At Bard College Berlin the reality of the changing world paradigm is all the more tangible because of the daily interaction with our refugee students. The presence of these students reminds us consistently of the need to remain alert, critical and receptive to rethinking and reshaping the modes and content of our teaching and the boundaries of our intellectual community.”

The Program for International Education and Social Change continues Bard’s long tradition as a haven for refugees from all over the world. Bard’s President, Leon Botstein, referred to this history and Bard’s current position as an open and safe place in his statement sent to the Bard community after the announcement of the new US government’s ban on immigration. Bard College Berlin may be more than ever the place to carry this tradition forward and live by and for the values of an open, free and pluralistic society, reflecting a spirit that is also explicitly expressed in the Academic Statutes (Hochschulsatzung) of the college: Bard College Berlin is committed to freedom of thought, speech, and discourse in an atmosphere uncorrupted by unlawful discrimination. Bard College Berlin, therefore, prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ethnic origin, or disability.

Full press release