DAAD Prize for Hadya Sleman

Student Hadya Sleman received the DAAD Prize for outstanding achievements by foreign students at German higher education institutions (HEI). The Iraqi student was honored for her high level of social commitment and her academic achievements. The accolade is endowed with a prize money of 1,000 euros.

The Iraqi student was nominated for the prize by educational scientist Professor Yasemin Karakaşoğlu: “Hadya Sleman impressed me with her determination and constant dedication, which she showed even under often adverse circumstances,” said Professor Karakaşoğlu. Hadya is pursuing her studies with great deal of patience and perseverance and has also lent tremendous support to her family and other refugees.
The 28-year-old was a participant in “here studies” – the Bremen preparatory studies for refugees. She is currently an advanced student at the University of Bremen pursuing a degree course in teacher education for secondary schools and high schools. Her subjects of choice are biology and art. Before she could start her studies in pursuit of her dream career as a teacher, she had to overcome a number of hurdles that called for an extraordinary amount of perseverance and personal strength.

Mastering the Path of Education with Extraordinary Determination

Since 2016, Hayda Sleman has not only taken care of her two younger brothers, who accompanied her to Germany, but has also managed the difficult family immigration process for her parents and younger siblings. During this period, she learned German and applied for the preparatory study program “here studies.”
She began her preparatory studies in the 2019 summer semester. It took another two years before she was able to overcome all the formal hurdles and begin her studies. She used this time to attend lectures in order to prepare for her studies. In addition to biology, she also took modules in educational science and art to prepare for the entrance exam for teaching. “She implemented this with admirable persistence and a high degree of self-management,” emphasizes Professor Karakaşoğlu.

Great Social Commitment in Helping Other Refugees

As soon as Hadya Sleman could understand basic German, she started to help other schoolmates with translations and, as a language mediator, accompanied many families to official appointments as well as visits to doctors. She was also involved in refugee aid, offering her assistance to people who had to leave their homes and seek refuge in Germany.
“Hadya Sleman is a standout because of her high degree of professional focus in her studies,” says Dr. Mandy Boehnke, Vice President for International Affairs, Academic Qualification, and Diversity. “She also shoulders the responsibility for her family and is equally committed to the needs of the migration society as a whole. Hadya Sleman is therefore a role model for our students, not to mention an important contributor to diversity at the University of Bremen.”

About the DAAD Prize

The DAAD Prize is awarded every year before Christmas by the Vice President for International Affairs, Academic Qualification, and Diversity, Dr. Mandy Boehnke, and the International Office. The prize money is provided by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD – Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst).

Further Information:


Jens Kemper
University of Bremen
International office
Tel.: +49 421 218-60365

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