Announcement Marwa El-Sherbini Scholarship

Announcement of the Saxon State Ministry of Social Affairs and Consumer Protection, Equal Opportunities and Integration Division, concerning the awarding of the “Marwa El-Sherbini Scholarship for Open-mindedness and Tolerance” of the Saxon State Ministry of Social Affairs and Consumer Protection, Equal Opportunities and Integration Division, and the State Capital Dresden.

From 1 October 2015, the Free State of Saxony (Saxon State Government) and the State Capital Dresden will, for the second time, award a joint scholarship in memory of Marwa El-Sherbini. In doing so, they are taking a stand for open-mindedness, tolerance and a diverse society.

Marwa El-Sherbini was born in Alexandria in 1977. She was the daughter of Ali El-Sherbini and Laila Shams, both of whom are chemists. During her schooling at the English Girls’ College in Alexandria, she was head girl. She went on to study pharmacy, successfully completing her degree in 2000. From 1992 to 1999, she also played for the Egyptian women’s national handball team.

In 2005, Marwa El-Sherbini came to Germany together with her husband, the geneticist Elwi Ali Okaz. Their son was born in 2006. In 2008, Okaz obtained a doctoral research position at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, and the family moved to Dresden.

At a playground in Dresden in August 2008, Marwa El-Sherbini was verbally abused as an “Islamist” and “terrorist” by Alex Wiens, an ethnic German immigrant from Russia. The police were contacted and Wiens was charged.

At the court hearing on 1 July, 2009, Alex Wiens killed Marwa El-Sherbini just as she was about to leave the courtroom after giving her testimony, and critically wounded her husband. The public prosecutor’s office spoke of a lone perpetrator, acting from “an extreme xenophobic motivation”. On 11 November 2009, the Dresden Regional Court sentenced Alex Wiens to life imprisonment for murder.

The “Marwa El-Sherbini Scholarship for Open-mindedness and Tolerance”, the result of a collaboration of the Free State of Saxony and the State Capital Dresden, is awarded in memory of Marwa El-Sherbini. For this purpose, DRESDEN-concept e. V. has set up the Marwa El-Sherbini Foundation. The aim of the scholarship programme is to promote future executives and specialist staff who take on social responsibility, are involved or interested in politics and stand up for freedom, democracy and fundamental and human rights.

Sponsorship is for up to two years (four semesters as a rule), and those eligible are students on a Master’s programme (or equivalent Diploma, M.A. and other relevant programmes) at a higher education institution in Dresden. The prerequisite is that the prospective scholarship holder has a completed Bachelor’s degree or a completed traditional single-stage academic course (Diploma, M.A., State Exam). If the Master’s programme or similar is not being pursued at a university, proof of accreditation is to be sent together with the application documents.

In selecting prospective scholarship holders, the principle of equal opportunity is to be observed while taking into account performance. For this reason, particular but not exclusive consideration will be given to international students and applicants from migrant backgrounds. If aptitude, qualifications and professional performance are of equal quality, applicants with a disability will be given preferential treatment. The decision rests with a Board of Trustees.

The criteria for being accepted for sponsorship are:

– outstanding academic achievements at school and university

– intercultural competence, social engagement and political interest

– strong civic commitment

– creativity, self-reflexivity/reflexivity, goal orientation

The Free State of Saxony and the State Capital Dresden support young people not only with this scholarship but also with non-material backing. For example, scholarship holders are actively supported in their search for internships. It is assumed that scholarship holders, in consultation with the sponsors, will participate in events organised by the Free State of Saxony and the State Capital Dresden.  

The scholarship is worth 750 euros per month, beginning in the 2015-2016 winter semester, and is awarded for a maximum period of up to two years (until the end of the 2017 summer semester: 30 September, 2017). The goal is to admit a further scholarship holder for the respective winter semester after two years at the latest, depending on the availability of budgetary resources. Admission will be based on an agreement under private law with the scholarship holder and the support foundation DRESDEN-concept e. V.

Applications can be submitted up to

31 July, 2015, at

DRESDEN-concept e. V.
TU Dresden
01062 Dresden

The application documents can be downloaded here.



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01062 Dresden

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