About the Project

What is it about?

The Open Learning Initiative (OLIve) provides a free of charge academic, non-degree, programme to people of refugee and asylum seeking status to support them in connecting their previous professional and academic experience to their new lives in Europe, including the possibility of considering higher education studies at a later stage. Historically, displaced groups face difficulties entering into tertiary education because of a number of structural factors, such as local language knowledge, financial constraints, degree (mis)recognition. In a number of countries, refugees and asylum seekers sorely lack support networks. OLIve is a set of programmes, which aim to provide a bridge to tertiary education. There are two programmes: a weekend programme (OLIve) and a University preparatory programme (OLIve-UP).
OLIve (weekend) aims to:
− help prepare students in the academic strand for further study;
− assist students incorporate socially and economically into Austrian and possibly other European societies;
− provide a communicative space for refugee and asylum seeking people in the academic environment;
− contribute to expanding the conventional boundaries of the university;
− open the University of Vienna to students with non-traditional backgrounds.

Who can take part?

All individuals with refugee or asylum seeking status in Austria or another country of the European Economic Area (EEA) who have an interest in pursuing University study. (Asylberechtigte, AsylweberInnen und subsidiär Schutzberechtigte) The programme has been funded by Erasmus+. The Erasmus network includes the Central European University, Hungary, as project leader, the Aritoteleian University of Thessaloniki, Greece, the University of Bard College Berlin, Germany, the University of Vienna, Austria, the University of East London, UK, as project partner. All universities participating in the project offer Olive (WP) and Olive UP (Vienna and UEL starting in April 2017) or is already being offered (CEU since 2016).
In Vienna, the Technische Universität Wien has been also a partner to OLIve.other partners supporting our work over the course of both REIs1 and REIs2 are University of Vienna, Technische Universität Wien, KPMG, Berlitz, Medizin Mariahilf, Ströck Brot, Katharine Müller-Hora, The Levante Hotels and Residences.

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