Maastricht University Euregion Refugee Scholarship (UMERS)
As a diverse and inclusive university, UM recognizes that it can be difficult for students from refugee communities to access and succeed in higher education. Although recognised refugees with legal residence in the Netherlands can apply for study financing via DUO and pay the EU tuition fee rate, this doesn’t apply to refugees living just across the border in the Euregion. In order to support these learners, the UM Euregion Refugee Scholarship programme offers two partial tuition waivers per academic year for talented refugee students from the Meuse-Rhine Euregion who have been admitted to a master’s programme at UM.
Do you have a strong motivation to pursue a master’s degree at Maastricht University, possess a refugee residence permit in Belgium or Germany and currently live in the Euregion? Then you can apply for a scholarship that consists of a partial tuition waiver to cover the difference between statutory tuition fees and institutional tuition fees, and a pre-academic training. If you are awarded the scholarship, you have to pay the statutory tuition fee in the amount of €2.209 (2022-2023), equal to a refugee with a residence permit in the Netherlands.
Here you will find detailed information about the scholarship and the application.
Two UM alumni and one current student who received the UMERS (formerly called UMHERS) scholarship tell us what the scholarship has meant for their career.
“Before I came to Germany in 2017, I studied law for two years at Istanbul University, one of the best law faculties in Turkey. I felt uncomfortable with the suppressive political situation there. Thousands of people lost their jobs: journalists, teachers, judges… My mother was one of them. That’s why I decided to leave.
Once in Germany, I wanted to study law again, but that was difficult because I spoke some English and hardly any German. Studying in English seemed the natural choice. There were not many opportunities in English in Germany, so Maastricht University drew my attention. It had many interesting programmes in English and was close to the Aachen region, where I lived. This meant that I could study there without a Dutch residence permit and commute. I started at UM in 2018 and completed the bachelor’s programme European Law in two years, also thanks to credits from Istanbul University. During my bachelor’s programme, I became fascinated by patent law and even wrote my thesis on that subject. I graduated with very high grades and was determined to start in the advanced master’s programme Intellectual Property and Law Management at UM. I could only enter the programme thanks to the scholarship, because I did not have the financial means for it. The master’s was a great, intense programme that accelerated my career and allowed me to speed up my study progress in Europe. If I had not received this scholarship to complete the master’s programme at UM in 2021, I would still be studying.
In September 2021, I started a one-year internship at the European Patent Organisation in Munich. This internship is a great opportunity to learn how the patent system works in the international context. Next, I hope to do a PhD in patent law, maybe as an external candidate at UM.
I am really honoured to have been given the opportunity to immerse myself in my studies because of UMHERS. During my studies, I worked extremely hard and put in my best effort to make the best use of such an amazing scholarship. I truly believe that having hardships and difficulties tend to make people more successful later on. I can’t thank UM and other sponsors enough for investing in that spark of light."
LLM in Intellectual Property and Knowledge Management, intern at the European Patent Office in Munich.
“In September 2019, I was in the fortunate position of receiving the UMHERS scholarship for the master’s programme Artificial Intelligence at the UM department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering. This opportunity helped me out of a difficult professional situation. As a refugee from Syria, I had arrived in Germany five years before and had managed to integrate very well. However, my career had come to a standstill. My knowledge of the German language was still at entry level, which made it hard for me to apply for positions in computer science. Moreover, my bachelor’s degree was from a non-EU university, which made me a less suitable candidate for jobs. After receiving a lot of rejection letters, I no longer saw perspectives for growth in my profession. This scholarship has helped me get my career on track again.
I am very glad to be a student in a high-profile programme at UM, which is a renowned European university. During my studies so far, I had the opportunity to work on creative projects, keep up with new technologies and enhance my theoretical background. I was lucky enough to find an internship at the RWTH in Aachen that was acknowledged by the department of DKE. You see, with a German refugee residence permit you are not allowed to work in the Netherlands, but this worked out fine. I hope to complete the last two courses and my thesis in about six months.
After the successful completion of my studies, I will be more confident about my skills in Artificial Intelligence, and I will be motivated to share the knowledge I gained through the programme with the business world. Most importantly, my track at UM is helping me build a stronger profile and become a competitive candidate for future work opportunities.
Master’s student of Artificial Intelligence at the department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (Faculty of Science and Engineering)
“I come from Turkey, but have been living in Belgium for four years. In Turkey, I worked as a teacher in elementary science education. My husband became a teacher in Rwanda, so I moved there with him. In Rwanda, I started to study in a master’s programme in psychology. Unfortunately, we had to move away from Rwanda because the residence permit expired. This meant I could not complete my master’s there. We could not go back to Turkey because there we would be imprisoned due to political problems. Therefore, we took a transit flight, got off the plane in Belgium and asked for asylum there. In Belgium, I wanted to improve myself and my education, but there were no English programmes close by. Then I discovered UM where the master’s programme in Developmental Psychology was offered, but that was outside my financial means. Friends informed me of the UMHERS scholarship for refugees in the Euregion. I applied and my request was honoured. I completed the master’s in 2020. UM has been very important to me, in more ways than one. I made international friends, enjoyed the open atmosphere, and felt comfortable in Maastricht. UM is in the middle of the Euregion, that’s perfect.
I am eternally grateful for being awarded the UMHERS Scholarship. Through this support, I have accomplished much of what I never thought possible. Receiving this scholarship has motivated me to work hard in my studies. As a refugee, my chances of making my dreams come true were limited but I have got my hopes and my dreams back with the help of UMHERS. It allowed me to continue my education and enhance my changes for a career.”
MSc in Developmental Psychology
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