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Bard College Berlin to Offer Three Full Scholarships for Syrian Students 

Bendetta Roux
Berlin, Germany – Through a generous act of philanthropy, Bard College Berlin has received three full scholarships for Syrian students. The private donors are Bard College Trustee Roland Augustine and Allegra Pesenti, Berlin gallery owner Max Hetzler, and US film producer Mark Gordon. The scholarships are part of the Program for International Education and Social Change and will enable the scholarship students to enter the Bard College Berlin undergraduate program and continue through four years of study. Students who meet all requirements will receive a dual American and German B.A. degree.

Roland Augustine commented, “Allegra and I are deeply honored and proud to help establish Bard College Berlin’s newest educational platform in support of scholarships to advance the causes of those students displaced from their homelands. Following on the heels of the groundbreaking Bard College Prison Initiative, this important program will provide the support to mitigate the loss of educational opportunities for those students of promise whose lives have been compromised by crisis and war in their countries of origin.”

Bard College Vice President for Special Global Initiatives Susan H. Gillespie said, “We look forward enormously to these students’ contribution to our academic community. The international diversity, broad and flexible liberal arts approach, shared English language (which is a second or third language for most students) and the small size and interactive teaching methodology of Bard College Berlin make it an ideal place for refugee and regular students to think their world anew.” Dean Catherine Toal said, “Bard College Berlin is very well suited to provide intellectual and personal resources to students who are seeking not only to continue their education, but to find a place in a different society. A conversation about the meaning of finding such a 'new place'—important for an increasing number of young people across the world —is very much at the heart of the curriculum here, and of its relation to the institutions and multilayered development of the city of Berlin.”

Students accepted into the program are expected to have a strong record of community engagement and/or a well-articulated social mission, which they intend to pursue during their studies and in future, whether in their countries of origin or at international level. Applicants should be of Syrian nationality, have a proven record of academic achievement, proficiency in English, and require full financial support to attend the college. Application is via the Bard College Berlin website.

The scholarship donations of $80,000 each are matched by a contribution from Bard College, which brings the total real value of the scholarship to just over $120,000 for four years of study. Bard College Berlin offers undergraduate degrees in “Economics, Politics and Social Thought” and “Humanities, the Arts and Social Thought.”

With the Program for International Education and Social Change, Bard College Berlin continues in the footsteps of Bard College New York, which has a long history of social and civic engagement. Beginning in the mid-1930s and throughout the war years, Bard was a refuge for distinguished writers, artists, intellectuals, and scientists fleeing Europe, including philosopher Heinrich Blücher and his wife, the political theorist Hannah Arendt.

In 1956, Bard provided a haven for 325 Hungarian student refugees after their participation in that country’s revolt against its Stalinist government, and shortly after the fall of the Berlin wall, the College developed the Program in International Education, which brings students from emerging democracies in Eastern and Central Europe and Central Asia to Bard to study.


About Bard College Berlin

Bard College Berlin is an American-German liberal arts college that offers excellent interdisciplinary undergraduate education in the humanities and social sciences in Berlin. It was founded in 1999, and became part of the Bard international network when it merged with Bard College New York in 2011. Students at BCB join a highly diverse and international student body of 140 students representing 41 countries and six continents, with English as the language of instruction. Students have access to tutors, support staff, program mentors, and internship placements with local and international organizations. Contacts with a larger international community of student activists, joint workshops and conferences, and study abroad opportunities are available at Bard College New York, and its dual BA liberal arts programs at network universities in Kyrgyzstan, Palestine, and Russia; through the ERASMUS program and the Higher Education Support Network; and at several other leading universities.

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This event was last updated on 08-21-2018

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