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Another Two Turkish Academics Find Refuge at Bielefeld University

Published 12. Juli 2017, 16:38 h
Vice-Rector Epple: “Building bridges for colleagues in need”

Bielefeld University takes in another two refugee academics from Turkey. Funding is secured via the Philipp Schwartz Initiative, which provides universities and research facilities in Germany with the means to host threatened researchers with a full scholarship for a period of 24 months. This brings the total number of fellows hosted at Bielefeld University to four. The first two fellowships were awarded back in December 2016.


Die Universität Bielefeld bietet derzeit 13 geflüchteten Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern aus dem Nahen Osten Zuflucht. Foto: Universität Bielefeld
At present, Bielefeld University provides refuge to 13 academics from the Middle East. Photo: Bielefeld University
"It is our mission to defend academic freedom and build bridges for our colleagues in need. Bielefeld University provides an open scientific space for reflection, which is necessary for a democratic society especially against the attacks of right-wing populism. We work constantly and intensively to further expand our network for refugee academics,” explains Professor Angelika Epple, who in her capacity as Vice-Rector of International Affairs and Diversity is also responsible for this topic. “This work still relies very much on the personal commitment of individual people at the university, whether they are the respective mentors in the faculties or at the Welcome Centre. We are very interested in working with more universities in and outside Germany and foundations to develop solutions in collaboration with them,” adds Eleni Andrianopulu, Head of the university’s Welcome Centre which is currently looking after 26 refugee academics. In June 2016, Bielefeld University joined the Scholars at Risk network, whose goal is to protect threatened researchers and to strengthen values, particularly academic freedom.

At present, 13 academics have found refuge at Bielefeld University. Another seven have successfully been placed with other universities and institutes. Most of them come from Turkey, followed by Syria, Iran and Iraq.
 
The Philipp Schwartz Initiative was created by the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation) together with the Federal Foreign Office of Germany. It enables universities, universities of applied sciences, and non-university institutions in Germany to award research fellowships to threatened researchers. This initiative is financed by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation, die Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Klaus Tschira Foundation, and the Robert Bosch Foundation, as well as the Mercator Foundation.

Further information is available online:
Humboldt Foundation press release:
Threatened researchers find refuge in Germany: Philipp Schwartz Initiative funds 56 more fellows
https://www.humboldt-foundation.de/web/51697899.html
Press release: Bielefeld University Hosts Three Threatened Scholars (14/12/2016):
https://ekvv.uni-bielefeld.de/blog/uninews/entry/bielefeld_university_hosts_three_threatened
On the Philipp Schwartz Initiative:
https://www.humboldt-foundation.de/web/dossier-philipp-schwartz-initiative-en.html
 

 

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