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The Open Learning Initiative - University Preparatory Scholarship Program (OLIve - UP) 2018, Hungary

Publish Date: Feb 28, 2018

Deadline: Apr 10, 2018

Open Learning Initiative - University Preparatory Program (OLIve - UP)

Fully Funded Higher Education Opportunity for Refugees in Europe at Central European University, Budapest

Are you a person with refugee status interested in studying at a university in Europe? Have you had difficulties in getting your qualifications recognised when applying to universities?

Central European University invites applications for its Open Learning Initiative - University Preparatory Program (OLIve-UP), a course of study designed to prepare students for Master’s degree programs. OLIve-UP is accepting applications from 27 February to 10 April, for its September 2018 to June 2019 program.


The Open Learning Initiative - University Preparatory Program is an intensive, full-time, fully-funded course of study for individuals with refugee status with the goal of preparing students for higher education study. OLIve-UP assists students in making competitive applications to MA programs at European universities. The program is currently funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union and by the Higher Education Support Program of the Open Society Foundations.


The program focuses on academic tutoring, academic English, developing academic skills and academic writing, English exam preparation for university, and advocacy and human rights training. Students are taught in small interactive groups, with close engagement between teachers and students. 

Academic tutoring

OLIve-UP offers academic tutoring in economics/business, environmental sciences and policy, gender studies, history, international relations and European 1/5 studies, legal studies/human rights, mathematics, nationalism studies, philosophy, political science, public policy, and sociology and social anthropology. 

Course Auditing

Students are expected to attend CEU MA courses related to their field of study. This is an opportunity to become familiar with the reality of studying in a graduate program. 


English classes raise students’ language level to the standard required for entry to MA university programs.

Academic skills classes develop students’ critical thinking, academic writing and general study skills.

Advocacy and human rights training will provide students with knowledge on how to access their rights to social and economic participation for themselves and others in European societies. Additional Support Students will receive regular and in-depth consultation as they apply to MA programs across Europe and will be assisted in making competitive applications.

Completion of the program does not guarantee acceptance at a CEU MA program or any other university program. Successful graduates of the program will receive a non-degree certificate issued by Central European University.


OLIve-UP accepts students intending to prepare for MA study. The program accepts applications from individuals with refugee status, or are in a refugee-like situation, in Hungary or another European Economic Area (EEA) state who have: 

  • An interest in pursuing further university study
  • A completed Bachelor's degree OR
  • Had their Bachelor’s degree programs interrupted. CEU OLIve may be able to help you apply for a Masters degree. This depends on a number of factors, including the number of credits you have completed. If you are in this situation please contact us for an assessment.

Not having copies of your diploma(s) will not disqualify you from applying.

  • At least upper-intermediate English skills. 

Women candidates who meet the above eligibility criteria are particularly encouraged to apply. 


Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed and will sit a written test to ascertain English level.

Checklist of the documents you will be asked to submit:

  • A CV (in English), with details of your academic background and work experience, if any. Please also indicate your English level.
  • A Letter of Motivation (maximum 2 pages) stating why you would like to participate in this program and describing your academic and professional achievements, as well as interests and goals for the future and how further university study will help you achieve these.
  • Scanned copy or photocopy of your diploma and a transcript of previous grades if you have these available.

IMPORTANT: If you do not have a copy of your diploma and transcript, please fill in this form and upload it to your application in the section reserved for diploma and transcript. Your application will still be considered if you do not have a copy of your diploma or transcript and you will not be at a disadvantage.

  • Up to two reference letters (one is mandatory), if possible one from someone familiar with your academic experience or skills to date. In the application form you will have to provide the name and contact details of a person familiar with your past academic performance, ideally a former teacher or university lecturer who can write a reference for you. If you are not able to contact an academic referee, then please provide the contact details of a previous employer. The referee will be contacted by CEU and will upload the reference. If you have copies of other references, you may upload additional reference(s) in the section 'Qualifications - Other Supporting Documents’ or have these sent to olive_admissions@ceu.edu directly by your referee(s).
  • If you have a sample of academic writing in English (e.g an essay prepared for a university program) please submit this in the section 'Qualifications - Other Supporting Documents’. Your application will still be considered and will not be at a disadvantage if you do not have a writing sample.

Please note that your application will not be considered complete unless you submit both the online application form and the required documents.


The program will run from September 2018 to the end of June 2019. This is a full-time program and students are expected to be in Budapest for the entire duration of the program.


All successful applicants will be awarded a full scholarship which will cover tuition fees and provide a stipend, assistance with accommodation and health insurance. 


Central European University is a graduate-level “crossroads” university where faculty and students from more than 100 countries come to engage in interdisciplinary education, pursue advanced scholarship, and address some of society’s most vexing problems. It is accredited in both the United States and Hungary, and offers English-language Master's and doctoral programs in the social sciences, the humanities, law, management and public policy. Located in the heart of Central Europe Budapest, Hungary, CEU has developed a distinct academic and intellectual focus, combining the comparative study of the region's historical, cultural, and social diversity with a global perspective on good governance, sustainable development and social transformation. With approximately 1,400 students and 370 faculty members from more than 130 countries, CEU is one of the most densely international universities in the world. Its rare mix of nationalities, ethnicities, and cultures creates an ideal environment for examining such “open society” subjects as emerging democracies, transitional economies, media freedom, nationalism, human rights, and the rule of law. It also brings multifaceted perspective to all aspects of community life. CEU is known for excellence in teaching and research—with purpose. At the core of its mission lies a set of principles: the pursuit of truth wherever it leads, respect for the diversity of cultures and peoples, and commitment to resolve differences through debate not denial. 

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

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