Crowdfunding since 2010
Kiron University offers world class academic degrees for refugees. Anytime, Anywhere, Tuition-Free. Our vision is not just to overcome the obstacles refugees face to access higher education, but to build a better, more individual-centered university for their needs - regardless of their documents. Kiron creates hope for a better future through education.
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Funding period
9/5/15 - 11/17/15
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Minimum amount (Start level): 120,000 €

The funding goal (120,000 €) is needed to finance 100 scholarships for refugees.

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What is this project all about?

Our idea at a glance

Kiron University (formerly known as Wings University) wants to give refugees back their dignity as humans and a perspective in life by providing them with the basic human right of higher education.


Refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people in regions of crisis face particular obstacles to access higher education in their home as well as in their host countries. In the 2013 Global Trends Report, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees identified as main challenges:

  • lack of legal documentation and school certificates
  • high international student fees
  • lack of capacity of educational institutions
  • language barriers.

All this prevents people to live up to their potential and therefore causes despair, unstable societies and high integration costs for host countries.


Kiron University is a non-governmental non-profit organization with the mission to remove the barriers for refugees and displaced people in order to access higher education through the provision of free education. Initially, we offer our students bachelor degrees in five popular areas that face a shortage of skilled workers:

  • Computer Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Business
  • Architecture
  • Intercultural Studies

Extraordinary fact

We enable refugees to study even if their legal status, documents or prior school certificates do not fit the requirements to enter a university. Our degree program consists of a 2-year online part at Kiron University and a 1-year offline part at one of our partner universities. Only before the last academic year, the offline part, our students have to fulfill the requirements of our partner universities in order to enroll regularly. All courses are offered in English. Degrees are granted in cooperation with recognized State Universities and according to the legal requirements. All courses are offered in english and degrees granted in cooperation with recognized international partner universities. All previously done online courses will be recognized by them, too. After the successful submission of their thesis, our students are granted a recognized degree by our partner universities.

Education philosophy

Kiron believes that the future of higher education is “blended learning”: the symbiosis of offline and online education. For the first two years, our students can choose courses out of the whole curriculum of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Those world-class courses of universities like Harvard, MIT, Stanford and Yale are already accessible to everyone in the cloud. Put simply, we take these open source online courses, modify them with the latest e-learning technology and enable flexible and tailor-made study programs with real-life working sessions, projects in teamwork, mentoring and student support. All of this is done with the careful supervision of our partner universities as well as experienced professors. For the third year, students go to one of our many established international partner universities. Those usually have 50% free seats in the last year due to dropouts. All previously done online-courses will be recognized and students attend regular courses and get a recognized double degree after the successful submission of their thesis.

What is the project goal and who is the project for?

Our vision is to provide millions of refugees worldwide with the chance to graduate at a university. There is an estimated number of 8 million people who already begun to study or wanted to go to university but cannot continue their path because the circumstances in their home country have condemned them to search for refuge.

Why would you support this project?

Education is the basis of a self-determined life. With a small contribution every single one of us can help refugees to help themselves and give them back their dignity as humans. Doing so, we do not just help refugees, but contribute to a peaceful society in general.

Nobody wants to be a refugee but due to war, political or religious persecution or extreme poverty, millions of people are forced to leave their home. We believe that every single person can contribute to the integration of refugees and we also believe that everyone has a responsibility to care for those who got into a needy situation. The best way to do this is to help people help themselves by giving them education. That´s what Kiron University does.

We believe that every single person can contribute to the integration of refugees and we also believe that everyone has a responsibility to care for those who got into a needy situation. The best way to do this is to help people help themselves by giving them education. That´s what Kiron University does.

How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded?

We will start a pilot with 1.000 students. To do so, we need 1.200€ to fund the whole 3-year degree program for one of our students.

With your support, we will be able to provide a refugee with a scholarship that consists of:

  • student support
  • hardware, internet and software
  • maintanance and development of the IT-infrastructure
  • fees e.g. for library access, databases
  • administration

Once we have shown that our students can graduate successfully with an accredited university degree, long-term funding will not be a problem. This means that your contribution to give a scholarship to one of our students in the pilot year will potentially enable thousands of refugees to continue their studies in the future.

Who are the people behind the project?

We are a rapidly growing team of social entrepreneurs, refugees, students and professors. We have an advisory board consisting of university founders and university presidents, experienced entrepreneurs and public opinion leaders. All together, there are 48 people in our core team and more than 200 volunteers so far.

We combine educational diversity and international experience with passion for the idea that education is the key solution to the current refugee crisis. The motivation in the team is diverse as some of us have made own experiences as refugees and others feel responsible to help. We believe that all ingredients for giving refugees the chance to study exist already, they only need to be united in order to work in concert.

Kiron Family

The crowdfunding project has been successfully completed. Supporting and ordering is no longer available on Startnext.

  • The processing of orders placed will be handled directly by the project owners according to the stated delivery time.

  • The production and delivery is the responsibility of the project owners themselves.

  • Cancellations and returns are subject to the terms and conditions of the respective project owner.

  • Revocations and cancellations via Startnext are no longer possible.

What does this mean? 
Legal notice
Kiron Open Higher Education gGmbH
Markus Kreßler
Am Festungsgraben 1
10117 Berlin Deutschland

Amtsgericht Charlottenburg
Amtsgerichtsplatz 1
14057 Berlin

11/15/15 - Every donation now gets doubled until the end...

Every donation now gets doubled until the end of the campaign, which is this Tuesday! If you have considered donating or telling your friends about us, now is the time. Thank you!


Social Impact Start

Seit April 2015 ist die Kiron University im Stipendienprogramm Social Impact Start des Social Impact Lab Berlins.

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