2019 DAFI Scholarship for refugees in Rwanda

UNHCR Rwanda invites young refugees to submit their applications to participate in DAFI scholarship program (Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative).


Higher education is one of the key priorities to build the knowledge and the capacity of the future generations, helping them to be change-makers on the road to their future. In this regard, UNHCR higher education program is offering a great opportunity for the refuge students through applying to DAFI scholarship program funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Government of Germany.

Scholarships are provided to undergraduate refugee students, covering all education fees and living costs during the studying period. In return, it is expected from all selected students to be a role model in education and persistence to successfully obtain remarkable academic degrees.

Throughout the years, DAFI awarded 292 scholarships for a bachelor degree to refugee students from different locations in Rwanda. This year 2019, only 20 scholarships will be granted to refugee students based on a specific criteria, due to the limited fund received. Students who meet the following eligibility criteria are invited to apply for this scholarship program for the academic year 2019-2020.

If you are interested in participating, please see the criteria and instructions below:

2019 DAFI Application Form

2019 DAFI call for Applications


All candidates should meet the following criteria: 

  1. Recognized refugee status: The applicant must be a recognized refugee. Asylum seekers are not eligible for a DAFI scholarship.
  2. Excellent academic performance: The priority will be given to those who achieved highest grades with excellent performance, presented in the student’s school certificate and/or the school report. The diploma/certificate to be enclosed with the application.
  3. Equivalency of the diploma: Only equivalent diplomas will be accepted. The equivalency should be issued by the Rwanda Education Board (REB) OR the Workforce Development Authority (WDA) OR the Higher Education Council. The equivalency to be enclosed with the application.
  4. Socio-economic status: This criteria presents the social-economic situation of an applicant and his/her family in the country of asylum. The status and the occupation of the headed household, the household income and external support can provide indicators to assess a candidate’s need for a scholarship.
  5. Age of the applicant: Youth at the age of 28 or younger at the beginning of academic year, can apply to DAFI scholarship.
  6. One scholarship per family: Only one young family member can apply/obtain DAFI scholarship to ensure that benefits allocated are equally given to other refugee students supporting their families.
  7. Never received another academic scholarship: the applicant should have obtained another scholarship by other program. Otherwise, his/her application would be withdrawn from DAFI program.
  8. Field of study and relevance to employment possibilities: Applicants should be able to clearly express their reasons for having chosen the particular subject of study, and to relate their choice to expected future employment opportunities in the country of asylum and upon repatriation.
  9. No resettlement application: Students’ applications, who have been granted resettlement, will not be considered.


Secondary selection criteria: 

  1. Choice of short-term course: The granting of new scholarships should be given to students contemplating courses of four, or less than four years duration, in reliability to and a high probability of employment.
  2. Choice of development-oriented course: Special emphasis should be placed on candidates where the employment-focus is combined with a special orientation to development-relevant courses, preparing the future graduates for the reconstruction of their country of origin.
  3. Priority for female applicants: One of the UNHCR policy priorities is to increase the number of girls attending primary and post-primary education. In support of this policy, DAFI scholarships aims to increase the participation of female students in tertiary education.
  4. Persons with specific needs: Persons with disabilities, victims of violence, and members of vulnerable households with identified socio-economic need among refugee students with excellent academic records will be given special considerations during the selection of candidates.



The application forms are available at UNHCR fields offices in every location and UNHCR office inside the camps; Kigeme, Mugobwa, Gihembe, Nyabiheke, Kiziba and Mahama, as well as in UNHCR office in Kigali. The forms are free of charge.

Applications must be submitted in a sealed envelope to one of UNHCR offices located in camps or urban. The applicant should write the following information on the envelope without mentioning any name:

Submitted to UNHCR field office in (XXXX location)

Deadline of submission is on the 28th of June, 2019 by midday. (12.00 p.m.)

No applications will be accepted after that date.


The list of successful candidates will be communicated during the second week of August, 2019.

We encourage qualified female candidates and persons with special needs to apply.