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Main Image for OLIve - the Open Learning Initiative

OLIve - the Open Learning Initiative

In 2019 Bard College Berlin joined the Refugee Education Initiatives (REIs) Consortium, which addresses challenges that refugees and asylum seekers face in accessing higher education. Through a combination of education programs and advocacy work, REIs aims to provide people with refugee backgrounds in Europe every opportunity to not only access higher education, but to flourish therein.

The REIs Consortium is funded by the Erasmus+ Social Inclusion program and is comprised of six universities and education providers: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Bard College Berlin, Central European University, OpEn Education Limited Budapest, the University of East London and the University of Vienna. 

REIs programs at Bard College Berlin

REIs programs at Bard College Berlin
Bard College Berlin will take over education programs that were intended to run at REIs partner Central European University. CEU is no longer able to run such programs because of the impacts of anti-migrant legislation in Hungary. BCB will also take over the coordination of advocacy work and promoting inclusive classrooms and universities.

In the academic year 2019/20, Bard College Berlin is running two educational programs: OLIve-Plus and OLIve-Access.

OLIve-Plus (September 2019 to January 2020) is intended for students with advanced English and academic skills who will apply to Masters programs at the end of their study. This program is open for students with protected status in Germany.

OLIve-Access (February 2020 to May 2020) is a program focused on raising the Academic English skills of students who will then go on to the full time OLIve-University Preparatory program in September 2020.

OLIve-Plus

OLIve-Plus is an intensive, full-time course of study for individuals with refugee status in Germany hosted by Bard College Berlin. It is a 5-month preparatory program for refugee students wishing to apply for an MA at Central European University, Vienna. The program is funded by Erasmus+, the EU's program to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe, and by the Higher Education Support Program of the Open Society Foundations and implemented at Bard College Berlin.

It builds on the knowledge, expertise, and experience of Central European University, which has been successfully running preparatory programs for students from marginalized backgrounds wishing to apply for MA programs since 2004. Over 120 students have gone on to win full scholarships having graduated from these programs. Since 2016, 12 refugee students have benefited from this scheme by being accepted to MA programs.

OLIve-Plus at Bard College Berlin runs for five months between September 2019 and January 2020 and has six students with a refugee background in its first cohort. Financial support is available. Successful graduates of the program will receive a non-degree certificate issued by Bard College Berlin.

OLIve-Access

OLIve-Access is a full-time, 4-month preparatory program for individuals with refugee status or a refugee-like situation in Europe wishing to improve their Academic English in order to study at university. The program is hosted by Bard College Berlin between January and May 2020, and it is funded by Erasmus+, the EU's program to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe, and by the Higher Education Support Program of the Open Society Foundations and implemented at Bard College, Berlin.

OLIve-Access will offer intensive Academic English & Academic Preparation classes as well as Academic Seminars. By the end of OLIve-Access, successful students will have gained a B2 level of Academic English, be comfortable studying in a communicative academic English language environment, have developed strong independent study skills, be able to produce competent academic texts and make a clear study plan, which will orientate them towards eventual MA studies in a given discipline. 

Students who successfully complete OLIve-Access will be expected to apply to a full 10-month Academic Preparatory program starting September 2020, known as OLIve-UP, that prepares students for MA studies in English at Central European University, Vienna. 

OLIve-Access at Bard College Berlin plans to accept six students with a refugee background in its first cohort. Scholarships are available. 
Contact

Contact

Cristina Simona Bangau
Director of Open Learning Initiative (OLIve)
Email: c.bangau@berlin.bard.edu
 
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