DAFI Scholarships: Turkey

UNHCR DAFI Scholarship Turkey

Application Deadline: Check with your local UNHCR office

Contact Person: UNHCR TURKEY, Ankara Office: +90 312 409 73 00 

Level of Study: undergraduate studies 

Fields of Study: Preference given to fields of commerce, building sciences, engineering, social and behavioral sciences, education, psychology 

Award Duration: Usually one year. DAFI may support the completion of two-year occupationally directed degree programs offered by Turkish universities.  

Number of Awards Available: Multiple  


UNHCR Turkey provides, on a limited basis, scholarships for refugees at the tertiary level in universities and polytechnic institutions through the Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative Fund (DAFI). The purpose of the DAFI Programme is to contribute to the self-reliance of refugees by providing them with a professional qualification for future employment. Scholarships are granted only for studies in the country of asylum.   



Important: The DAFI Turkiye Scholarship Programme is only open to Syrian nationals who entered Turkey after April 2011. 

In order to be eligible, a candidate should:  

  • be a refugee with recognized refugee status in the country in which you are applying for the scholarship (Turkey in this case); 
  • Have proof of registration with Turkish authorities – in the form of residence permit (ikamet izin belgsi), temporary protection identification document (gecici koruma kimlik belgesi) or the Foreigners Identification Card (Yabanci Tanitma Karti);  
  • Be between 18 and 26 years old; 
  • Have successfully completed secondary schooling and have obtained good academic scores (grades); 
  • Have proof of secondary school completion recognized by Turkish Ministry of National Education. YOLDYS examination results will be accepted (YOLDYS is the Foreign Student examination conducted by the Ministry of National Education in June 2015); 
  • Be interested in studying a course that will contribute to improving your community and to be able to lead to future employment in Syria (e.g. commerce, building sciences, engineering, social and behavioural sciences, education, psychology); 
  • Have a desire to contribute to your community – during and after your studies; 
  • Select a choice of study course with maximum of four years duration. 
  • It is desirable for students to be sufficiently proficient in the language of instruction (Turkish or English) that they are able to immediately enroll in their course of study.  


  • individuals with special needs, such as physical disabilities;  
  • the student’s proven academic performance; 
  • students who had to interrupt their studies due to flight, and who possess proof of previous university or college studies in their country of origin; 
  • students who interrupted their DAFI scholarship in the country of asylum due to repatriation to the country of origin. Subject to prevailing conditions and available funds, studies may be continued by returnees in the country of origin;  
  • In order to allocate benefits in an equitable manner to as many refugee families as possible, no more than one scholarship should be provided within a single refugee family; 
  • students who choose shorter and inexpensive courses with high chances of employment (such as computer studies, paramedical and teaching professions, etc).  


  • Complete the Application for Educational Assistance document to be submitted to UNHCR directly.   
  • School Certificates 
  • Language proficiency certificates (such as TOMER or TOEFL/ IELTS) should be included in application.   


Step 1.  

  • Check if you meet the above-mentioned eligibility criteria 

Step 2.  

  • Request and complete the DAFI application form. These are available which at your nearest UNHCR office. 
  • Collect the requested supporting documents 

Step 3.  

  • Submit the application form to UNHCR in Turkey directly.  

NOTE: Do not submit your application to UNHCR headquarters in Geneva. If you have further questions, please contact your nearest UNHCR office. School and university certificates will be verified prior to the selection of candidates. In cases where certificates are not originals or are older than three years, the candidates may have to undergo a test.   


  • Submit your application at your nearest UNHCR office.  


The selection process normally involves several steps: 

  1. Review of application 
  1. Interview 
  1. Final selection 

Due to the limited number of scholarship places available, please keep in mind that only a limited number of candidates who meet the selection criteria can be selected.  


  • If you have any questions contact your nearest UNHCR office in Turkey or the UNHCR Turkey Ankara Office at +90 312 409 73 00.  You can also review the DAFI Turkey Scholarship Information in ARABIC here for more information. 


Have you or anyone you know been a recipient of the DAFI Scholarship in Turkey? If yes, we would appreciate any feedback to tailor our information regarding this program for future applicants.