What is the Silent University Ruhr
The Silent University is an autonomous platform for sharing and exchanging knowledge for academics who are refugees or asylum seekers. Refugees who come to Germany are not allowed to work to begin with. They cannot use their knowledge and skills and their university degrees are often not recognized.
In 2012, the Kurdish artist Ahmet Öğüt became aware of the fate of refugees and asylum seekers with an academic background when he was in London doing research for an exhibition in the Tate Modern. His idea was to end this enforced silence. He initiated the Silent University in London; there are now sister universities Stockholm, Hamburg, Amman (Jordan) Athens and – since the Impulse Theater Festival 2015 – in Mülheim an der Ruhr. Refugees and asylum seekers have become lecturers and advisors.