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

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, 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.

Academic English

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.

For information on how to apply, visit: https://olive.ceu.edu/Apply


27 February: call for applications opens
10 April (23:59 CET): call for applications closes
16 - 20 April: shortlisting
23 - 27 April: interviews and written tests
2 - 4 May: decisions sent out


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.