In September 2015, the measures taken by the University of Barcelona to support people affected by violence and war conflicts were announced. These were specified in the UB Support Programme for refugees and people from areas of conflict (hereinafter the Programme). This Programme is managed by the Fundació Solidaritat UB and consisted of 100 enrolment fees for studying degrees, as well as third-cycle studies (postgraduate and official master’s degrees) at the University of Barcelona; Spanish language studies for foreigners; Accommodation and subsistence allowance, as well as access to psychological care services, legal services and medical care (dentistry and podiatry).
Within the framework of this General Programme, a more specific initiative has been born which –under the form of a complete grant for studies, accommodation and subsistence allowance – aims to promote the incorporation of economically disadvantaged students and those whose human rights are being violated. This call is aimed primarily at those people who are part of communities or social groups that are most vulnerable and who live in areas in conflict. Priority is given to those people affected by conflicts in the Middle East.
Object of the grants and beneficiaries
15 grants (which cover enrolment, accommodation and maintenance) are available for university students for the 2018-2019 academic year. The 15 grants are intended for students who want to continue undergraduate studies, or take postgraduate or master’s degree courses (official in the last two cases) within the framework of the academic offer of the University of Barcelona (http://www.ub.edu/web/ub/es/estudis/oferta_formativa/index.html). The English version can be found at http://www.ub.edu/web/ub/en/estudis/oferta_formativa/index.html.
The scholarship consists of:
• Enrolment fees for the 8-month “University Transition Course” (January 2018-August 2018) whose contents are related to learning the Catalan and Spanish languages, as well as acquiring knowledge related to the theory and practice of human rights and their defence and protection.
• Coverage of the accommodation in full board in the places defined by the University of Barcelona, preferably, in university colleges or residences.
• Subsistence allowance, understood as the ordinary expenses necessary for life, as well as educational material (books, school supplies,…) and transport.
• Psychological and legal assistance.
• Participation in programmes and projects for integration into the social and associative life of the University and of the city of Barcelona.
• If the person passes the transition course under the established terms*, the scholarship will continue to be valid (enrolment, accommodation and maintenance coverage) during the university studies, provided that the student**:
• Obtains the credits within the framework of the legislation on conditions for remaining at the University. The maximum number of years may be increased for people affected by a disability equal to or greater than 65% or who suffer from psychological disorders.
• Fulfils the internal rules for remaining at the University relating specifically to the Grant and complies with the commitments of civility and respect in the framework of the plural and diverse coexistence established by the Fundació Solidaritat UB.
Grants are individual. That is, they are granted to a specific person. There are no aids for accompanying persons.
To be eligible for the grant, applicants must meet the following requirements:
• Be aged between 18 and 30 years. The incorporation of women will be encouraged, and it is intended that women account for 50% of the total number of students on the transition course.
• Priority will be given to people affected by war and those who are part of persecuted minorities for ethnic, religious and other reasons. In all cases, these people must demonstrate economic difficulties and that they are in situation in which their human rights are violated.
• Provide sufficient supporting documentation (official degree, certificate of examination results, syllabus,…) proving that the applicant has completed at least 30 ECTS credits in the University(s) in which they have studied. The documentation must be presented in the original language and in English. This documentation will be checked before selection.
• Provide credible documentation sufficient to demonstrate the student is in economic need. Economic need means the family unit receives income equal to or lower than the average for the local population. Accreditation of this circumstance can be provided by an internationally accredited NGO or other accredited governmental or international entities.
• Provide sufficient supporting documentation to prove that the applicant’s human rights have been seriously violated. This accreditation must be provided, as in the previous point, by specialised entities of probity.
• Apply for undergraduate studies in one of the disciplines taught at the University of Barcelona or OFFICIAL postgraduate and master’s degree programmes.
• Not receive any another financial aid or grant during the time the grant is effective.
Provide truthful documentation certifying studies and economic and social situations is a necessary and indispensable condition for applying for the grant.
The number of grants will depend on the availability of places at the time the grants are published.
Commitments necessary for the receiving the grant
Grant recipients undertake to:
1. Complete the whole transition course and, in any case, attend at least 80% of the teaching hours.
2. Pass the relevant examinations or tests that prove acquisition of a B2 level of knowledge of the Spanish and Catalan languages.
3. Pass the relevant exams and tests that accredit specific knowledge in human rights.
4. Participate in the educational activities belonging to the transition course.
5. Complete in a timely and correct manner of all the administrative procedures designed to regularise their administrative situation.
6. Provide evidence to the UBFS of a minimum of 85% of the expenses incurred in terms of pocket money and mobility (transport).
7. Inform the UBFS of the annulment of the enrolment or any alteration affecting the studies, administrative situation or coexistence.
8. Inform properly and in a timely manner of the change of situations related to obtaining and receiving other scholarships, starting paid work activities and the like that affect the previously accredited situation of economic vulnerability.
Points 5 to 7 are expandable in the framework of later university studies along with the specific conditions of the rules on remaining at the University.
The following documentation is required for applying for the grant:
• Completed application form. This application form can be found on the following website (http://www.solidaritat.ub.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/2018_Scholarship_Application.pdf).
• Copy of valid passport.
• People affected by war and those who are part of persecuted minorities for ethnic, religious and other reasons should state so in their letter of application.
• Official Qualifications (University Degree), certificate of examination results, syllabus,… proving that the applicant has completed at least 30 ECTS credits at the University(s) in which they have studied. The documentation must be presented in the original language and in English. This documentation will be checked before selection.
• Letter from an internationally accredited NGO or other governmental or international entities of probity, establishing that the family unit receives, as a whole, an amount less than the minimum salary of their place of residence. The letter must be provided, at least, in English.
• Letter from an internationally accredited NGO or other governmental or international entities of probity, establishing that the applicant’s human rights have been seriously violated. The letter must be provided, at least, in English.
All these documents must be attached in pdf format to an email and sent to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject must be: Name_Surname_ Application_ScholarshipUB. The deadline for the receipt of candidatures is December 6, 2017 at 12 UTC.
Selection of candidatures
An initial selection of the candidatures will be carried out, examining the attached documentation and accepting those that meet the requirements mentioned in the beneficiaries section for the next phase.
Candidates will be selected (either in person or by scrutinising the attached information) in a process in which specialists of the Fundació Solidaritat UB will participate alongside members of the University of Barcelona and the City Council of Barcelona. A final list of accepted candidates will be made from this selection.
Resolution and Communication
The resolution of the grants for the transition course in its 2017-2018 edition will take place on December 15, 2017.
The University of Barcelona, through the Fundació Solidaritat UB, will contact the selected people to communicate their acceptance via email.
Procedures after the acceptance of the grant, issues that are not covered during the communication phase, and arrival at Barcelona
Once the decision has been communicated, the selected person has 7 days to accept the grant and the administrative procedures aimed at obtaining a study visa will be initiated at the relevant Spanish embassy.
The grant does not cover the payment of the administrative or other expenses that are carried out to obtain the study visa. The grant does not cover travel expenses from the beneficiary’s place of residence to Barcelona.
Payment of the grant
The grant that is applied for provides:
• In the case of the transition course: the UB assumes the cost of the enrolment fees of the transition course, as well as the lodging in full board and the subsistence allowance of the accepted candidates.
• If, once the transition course has been completed, the student begins university or higher education studies (and where necessary), the UB will assume the cost of the course enrolment fee credits, always in compliance with the regulations on remaining at the university, the lodging and the subsistence allowance.
The subsistence allowance is the only payment that the beneficiary of the grant will receive directly. This amount must be justified.
Termination of the grant
The following are causes for terminating the grant:
• The student provides non-truthful documentation in relation to their studies, economic situation or situation of human rights violations.
• The student completes the studies for which he has received the grant.
• The student voluntarily gives up the grant.
• The student is in breach of the regulations established by the University for remaining enrolled.
• Failure to comply with one or more of the conditions set forth in the Commitments section as necessary for receiving the grant.
• The student copies or commits fraudulent acts in exams or other qualifying works.
• The student commits serious faults related to coexistence with and respect towards co-students which, after being analysed by the Fundació Solidaritat UB, are resolved by terminating the grant and all its components. This termination will be communicated to the student and will come into effect immediately.
• This grant is incompatible with any other grant or financial aid granted for the same purpose and that added to the amount corresponding to the subsistence allowance would give a monthly amount equal to or greater than the minimum wage.
• In exceptional situations, the lack of economic resources on the part of the University of Barcelona to meet the financial expenses derived from the grant.
The above causes imply the total and immediate termination of the grant. In any case, these causes will be analysed by the Fundació Solidaritat UB, that will apply the relevant measures.
Interpretation of the terms
The interpretation of the terms corresponds to the management of the Fundació Solidaritat UB (representing the University of Barcelona).
Applying for a grant implies accepting these terms.
The Fundació Solidaritat UB reserves the right to issue the grants.
* Attends at least 80% of the teaching hours and passes the examinations that prove acquisition of B2 level of knowledge of the Spanish and Catalan languages; Passes the examinations and tests that accredit specific knowledge in human rights and administrative probity.
** The grant will cover the amount of credits for the corresponding course, within the framework of the regulations on the conditions for remaining at the University.