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CEU gets Erasmus+ grant for refugee education

Ecosystem

The Central European University will be able to upscale its weekend courses for registered refugees in Hungary and offer a full-time, non-degree university preparatory program across the European Economic Area (EEA), with the assistance of a EUR 440,000 Erasmus+ grant, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal today.

The programs, jointly known as OLIves (Open Learning Initiatives), now consist of the weekend program, OLIve-WP, and the full-time program, OLIve-UP. OLIves administrators will base the full-time OLIve-UP program on CEUʼs Roma Access Programs (RAP), an initiative in its twelfth year that prepares talented Roma students to pursue graduate-level education at universities in Europe (including CEU) and beyond, according to the statement. 

CEU experts will lead the initiative, which will be conducted with the University of Vienna, the University of East London and the European Network Against Racism (ENAR). The Erasmus+ grant will allow OLIve-UP to run for two years while other fundraising efforts run simultaneously.

“We saw the need and desire for further opportunities for higher education preparation among our refugee students,” said Prem Kumar Rajaram, CEU associate professor, coordinator of the Erasmus+ grant and OLIve-UP co-director. “For many of our students, the option of furthering their studies in their home countries was not possible or was cut short by war and ongoing violence. The OLIve-UP program will not only aid refugee scholars in perfecting their English-language skills, but will acclimatize them to the European higher education system and allow them to work with other international students and academics in their field of choice.” 

At CEU, OLIve-UP will be an intensive nine-month (one academic year) university preparatory program for registered refugees in the EEA. Courses will focus on academic English, advocacy skills training and university preparatory courses, with the principle aim of preparing students to be successful BA and MA students at universities throughout Europe.  

“The University of Viennaʼs aim in partnering with CEU for OLIves is to initiate meaningful contact between refugee students and Austrian students and young academics, in order to jumpstart integration into the European community,” said Professor Katharine Sarikakis, chair of the Media, Governance and Industries Research Lab at the University of Vienna and coordinator of the joint OLIves project with CEU.

Beginning in September 2017, the University of East London will launch its nine-month OLIve-UP program, based on its well-established, successful “Foundations” course, guaranteeing students who successfully complete the year a place on BA/BSc degree programs at UELʼs School of Social Sciences, or in any of the other six faculties within the university. 

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