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The student organisation Offener Hörsaal, founded in December 2015, makes it easier for refugees to take courses at the University Basel as course auditors. The Offener Hörsaal has been recognised as a students association by the University of Basel. The student auditing programme is open to all interested persons and consists of around 500 selected courses in German, French, and English. In addition, participants can take part in a language course at the university language centre.
Background to the Offener Hörsaal
In the wake of the humanitarian crises in countries such as in Syria, there are refugees living in Switzerland. Among these refugees, there are many with an academic background. However, there are many hurdles to overcome to be able to continue their studies in Switzerland. Their participation in the student auditing programme should make access to full-time study at university easier for them.
The University of Basel is the oldest institution of higher education in Switzerland and can look back on a long humanitarian tradition, for example supporting refugees during the Hungarian uprising of 1956. Our project aims to build further on this tradition and to contribute towards a successful integration of current and new refugees. Through their participation in the student auditing program, these refugees have the opportunity to expand their academic skills and language proficiency. Furthermore, the programme enables and encourages cross-cultural exchange between the participating refugees and students, as well as university staff. This strengthens educational equality and fosters the refugees’ potential.
The programme is aimed at current and new asylum seekers and refugees with an academic background who reside in the greater Basel area. For the present the covering of the fees for the student auditing programme is limited to 20 people. At individual meetings, before the semester starts, we take the time to explain the participation requirements and the courses offered with those who are interested in taking part. If you would like to take part in the Offener Hörsaal, please contact us!
Student auditing programme
The student auditing programme is open to the general public and consists of around 500 selected courses in German, French, and English. The project covers the auditing fees for the refugees and asylum seekers participating in the Offener Hörsaal. Course auditors may participate in the courses. However, as they cannot take any exams it is not be possible to obtain any academic degree or certificate through the student auditing programme.
An important aspect of the Offener Hörsaal is the buddy programme. Student volunteers, i.e. “buddies”, meet with the participating refugees before the start of the semester and continue to do so on a regular basis throughout the semester. The goal is to pass on information about the services and facilities of the university, as well as to offer help in case of questions or difficulties. The buddy program also connects people socially, and may include other activities such as language learning groups or social gatherings.