Press Portal

Excellent student initiative for refugees

The Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) honours the Refugee Law Clinic of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin as the best student initiative for refugees.

Preisverleihung Refugee Law Clinic
 Award Ceremony
 Picture: Katharina Riehle/ DAAD

The Refugee Law Clinic Berlin e.V. (RLC) of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) has been awarded the prize for excellent student initiatives in the programme ‘Welcome – Studierende engagieren sich für Flüchtlinge’ (‘Students committed to refugees’). The award was handed over to the students by the State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), Cornelia Quennet-Thielen, together with the General Secretary of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Dr Dorothea Rüland.

The DAAD and BMBF selected three winning initiatives from 48 applications submitted nationwide: the Refugee Law Clinic was awarded first place. The prize includes 10,000 euros. Second prize, including 5,000 euros, was given to ‘Initiative Deutschkurse für Asylsuchende’ (‘German courses for refugees’) run by the Technical University of Dresden, while the initiative ‘Geflüchtete helfen Geflüchteten’ (‘Refugees helping refugees’) by the University of Siegen claimed third prize and 3,000 euros.

The RLC is an initiative by students and doctoral researchers from a range of different fields at the HU. Their goal is to offer free and expert legal advice for refugees as well as migrants in Berlin. The RLC also provides legal advisor training as part of a one-year training cycle. The initiative currently runs 11 advisory centres throughout Berlin and assists around 150 refugees per month. It is also supported at the Law Faculty as part of the project ‘Übergänge’ (‘Transitions’) using BMBF funding in connection with the Teaching Quality Pact.

The Refugee Law Clinic, Video: DAAD

“We are delighted to receive the award and consider it recognition and further motivation for our work for, and with, refugees,” says Elmedin Sopa from the RLC office. “We intend to use the prize money in part to release a podcast on issues relating to migration and asylum law. We are also working on developing cooperation with Refugee Law Clinics across all of Germany in order to show clear prospects for the integration of refugees in everyday life and university.”

Presently, six student initiatives at five faculties at the HU receive funding from the DAAD and the BMBF as part of the ‘Welcome’ programme. Alongside the Refugee Law Clinic, they include Welcome Tandems @ Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, ‘Zukunft gestalten’ (‘Shape the future’), LeWi Welcome, the Wiwi Welcome Initiative and GeTMA.

In addition to many other projects, the initiatives coordinated by the Internationalisation Office form part of the programme ‘Refugees Welcome at the HU’. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin thereby brings together a number of different offers that seek to help refugees access university, begin studies and research, and participate in everyday life at the HU. The practical support is accompanied by broad academic expertise in the areas of flight and migration at the HU.


Further Information

RefugeesWelcome an der HU

Refugee Law Clinic

Contact Refugee Law Clinic e.V.

Contact „Refugees Welcome an der HU“

Inse Böhming
Central contact partner for HU initiatives ‘Refugees Welcome’
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Phone: 030 2093-20092

Press contact

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Staff Unit for Press and Public Relations Work

Phone: 030 2093-2945