The association Open Lecture Auditorium seeks to promote equal opportunities and provide support for asylum seekers and refugees.

Per semester up to twenty refugees with an academic background or the desire to take up a course of studies can visit lectures as listeners and can absolve a language course at the university language centre. The association also supports possible students by offering assistance in applying for courses.

What happens if I have to abandon my studies and take flight? Can I continue my studies in Switzerland? Are my diplomas recognised in Switzerland?
People who have fled to Switzerland are often confronted with huge obstacles when they seek to recommence their studies or begin a new course of studies. Previous academic achievements or degrees are not always or only partly recognised in Swiss Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences. Quite often problems arise due to loss of documentation or indeed due to political reasons where the document is no longer available from the land of origin. The financing of study fees, living and transport costs in Switzerland also represent yet another obstacle. In the last instance, the language and communication barriers make studying in Switzerland particularly strenuous.

The association Open Lecture Auditorium is an accredited association through the University of Basel. It was founded by students in 2016 who wished to contribute to the social, professional, and lingual integration and who also hope to support the independent existence of refugees in Switzerland.

The University of Basel claims a strong humanitarian tradition. To the present day a memorial plaque in the Kollegienhaus commemorates the support offered to the Hungarian students who fled during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Tradition or otherwise – to show a sign of solidarity and to provide constructive support is for us an indispensable measure. Personal aims in life, such as the realisation of a university education, should be given the required support.

The programme is directed to refugees with an academic background or who pursue an academic career with residency in the region of Basel. An interview will be held beforehand with the interested applicants. Pro semester 20 participants can take part in the project.

The listeners programme of the University of Basel is open to all who are interested. They can take part in 500 regular events in various subjects and courses in German, English and French. The Open Lecture Programme allows participants to visit three courses in the programme. Additionally, there is the possibility to visit a language course at the Universities language centre.

Listeners do not take examinations and as a result there is no academic qualification (ECTS) or certificate acquired at the end of a course /semester.

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One of the central aspects of the Open Lecture Auditorium is the project teams Buddy Programme: All participants are allocated one or two Buddies from the same course, who accompany them and assist in mastering the university’s everyday life. The students who volunteer, the so called Buddies, meet with the listeners before the lecture programme begins and also on a regular basis during the semester to discuss academic or organisational questions. The programme hopes to achieve a lively exchange between the volunteers and visitors which might well be consolidated through complimentary events such as cooking together or language tandems.

Read more about participating as a listener or about possible ways to support the project. The association’s existence and indeed survival is guaranteed by your active help as a Buddy, committee member or through your financial support.

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