Refugee Education Initiatives II

OLIve – Open Learning Initiative Programme

Higher Education programmes for people of refugee status in Europe at the University of Vienna

The University of Vienna has offered free academic courses for individuals with refugee or asylum seeking status in Austria or any other country of the European Economic Area (EEA)1 with an interest in pursuing University study, since 2017.  The first Refugee Educational Initiatives courses ran between 2017-2018 and the renewed programme started in 2019 and will last until 2021. These programmes are being supported by two separate  funds by the European Union's ERASMUS+ programme.

Our dedicated OLIve website is here:

Currently, the programme moved to online provision through moodle, due to the COVID-19 measures and the temporary nature of measures. The programme is offered in asynchronous and synchronous ways.

Historically the lab has run courses in the following formats:

  • OLIve – Open Learning Initiative Courses for Refugees
    12 weeks – open for all 
  • OLIve-UP – Open Learning Initiative – University Preparatory Programme
    6 Months – only for persons holding refugee status in Austria aiming to attend any BA and MA University Programm in Europe
  • OLIve Women, since  2019 - a programme designed for women refugees
  • OLIve Youth - since 2019 - a programme designed fro youth between 16-20 years old



Room 7.32, Währinger Straße 29, 1090 Vienna

Institut für Publizistik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft (Department of Communication)

Währinger Straße 29, 1090 Vienna


1 EEA countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.