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In September 2015, the measures taken by the University of Barcelona (UB) 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 UB Solidarity Foundation (hereinafter the UBSF) and consisted of 100 enrolment fees for studying degrees, as well as second-cycle studies (official and non-interuniversity master’s degrees) at the University of Barcelona; Spanish language studies for foreigners; accommodation, as well as access to psychological care services, legal services and medical care.
Within the framework of this General Programme, a more specific initiative has been born which –under the form of a complete grant for studies and accommodation – 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.
General objective of the grant
The grant has 3 main aims:
• To promote access to higher education for those university students (residents in non-EU countries) whose educational and vital projects have been interrupted by the war, conflicts or different types of violence (for their political thoughts, beliefs, sexual orientation, gender discrimination, gender violence…) and who want to continue Master’s studies.
• To promote a safe place where develop or finish the university studies.
• To improve professional competencies and future employability in their countries of origin.
To be eligible for the grant, applicants must meet the following requirements:
• Be aged under 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.
• Have a university degree which allows access to a University of Barcelona official and non-interuniversity master’s degree.
• Without Spanish and Catalan language knowledge.
• Priority will be given to people affected by war and those who are persecuted for gender discrimination, sexual orientation, ethnic, religious beliefs, and other reasons. In all cases, these people must demonstrate that they are in a situation in which their human rights are violated through NGOs letters or other documentary proves.
• Provide sufficient supporting documentation proving that the applicant has completed their university degree. 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 OFFICIAL and NON-interuniversity master’s degree programmes from the University of Barcelona offer.
• 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 is 15.
Commitments necessary for receiving the grant
Grant recipients undertake to:
1. Complete the whole transition course (Spanish and Catalan course and human rights training) 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 and activities related to the promotion of human rights.
5. Complete in a timely and correct manner of all the administrative procedures designed to regularise their administrative situation.
6. Inform the UBSF of the annulment of the enrolment or any alteration affecting the studies, administrative situation or coexistence.
7. 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 4 to 7 are expandable in the framework of later university studies along with the specific conditions of the rules on remaining at the University and the legal requirements for remaining in the Spanish territory.
Object of the grants and beneficiaries
The current grant covers the bridging course for the academic year 2019-2020. And if it is passed successfully, the first master course (academic year 2020-2021) would be covered.
There are 15 grants for the transition course (bridging course of language) for the academic course 2019-2020, that cover:
• Enrolment (free tuition) in a transition course to the University. This course is a bridge course necessary for the incorporation (during the academic year 2020-2021) to the University studies. The contents of the course are:
• Spanish and Catalan languages (both of them)
• Human rights training
• Information about the culture, society, labour market and university system
• Coverage of the accommodation in full board in the places defined by the University of Barcelona, preferably, in university colleges or residences. The accommodation consists in shared rooms (of 3 people)
• Psychological and legal assistance
•Private health insurance
• Holistic support (follow-up, legal advice, academic guidance…)
• Participation in programmes and projects for integration into the social and associative life of the University and of the city of Barcelona.
During the year 2020-2021, those who pass the transition course would access university studies at the University of Barcelona. The UBSF understands that the grant and its coverage (including the access to master degrees) terminates if the student doesn’t pass the transition course.
The 15 grants are intended for students who want to continue their university studies and take an official and non-interuniversity master’s degree course within the framework of the academic offer of the University of Barcelona during the academic year 2020-2021. The English version can be found at https://www.ub.edu/web/ub/en/estudis/oferta_formativa/index.html.
If the person passes the transition course under the established terms*, the scholarship would continue to be valid (enrolment, accommodation, holistic support…) during the master’s degree, provided that the student:**
• Pass 80% or more of the total amount of credits taken by the student.
• 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 UBSF.
Grants are individual. That is, they are granted to a specific person. There are no aids for accompanying persons.
Once the scholarship is granted the student has to apply for a foreign student visa in the Spanish Embassy. Neither the University of Barcelona nor the UBSF can guarantee the granting of the requested visa or take influence in the process of visa application.
Only if the Spanish Embassy grants the students visa, will the scholarship be effective.
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/2019/06/Application-form-2019.pdf
• Copy of valid passport.
• University Degree certificate officially stamped. The documentation must be presented in the original language and in English. This documentation will be checked before selection.
• Cover letter.
• 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 because of war or because violence due to their sexual orientation, gender discrimination, ethnic, religious and other reasons. 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 family unit receives, as a whole, equal to or lower than the average for the local population. 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 email subject must be: Name_Surname_ Application_ScholarshipUB. The deadline for the receipt of candidatures is July 11 2019 (at 12 AM Barcelona time).
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) after an interview in a process in which specialists of the UBSF 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 2019-2020 edition will take place in August.
The University of Barcelona, through the UBSF, 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 University of Barcelona assumes the cost of the enrolment fees of the transition course, as well as the lodging in full board of the accepted candidates.
• If, once the transition course has been successfully completed, the student would begin the master’s degree, the University of Barcelona would assume the cost of the course enrolment fee credits, always in compliance with the regulations on remaining at the university, and the lodging.
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 does not complete the transition course.
• The student does not pass the exams of the transition course.
• 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 UBSF, 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.
• 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 UBSF, that will apply the relevant measures.
Interpretation of the terms
The interpretation of the terms corresponds to the management of the UBSF (representing the University of Barcelona).
Applying for a grant implies accepting these terms.
The UBSF reserves the right to issue the grants.
The number of grants will depend on the availability of places at the time the grants are published.
* 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.