What is the Silent University Ruhr

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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.

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Refugee and an Academic?

If you taught, worked or studied in your home country and want to keep your knowledge and expertise alive here, then we are looking for your knowledge and your experience! The Silent University Ruhr (~University for disused knowledge) is a meeting place for refugee academics who want to cultivate and share their expertise. The Silent University creates space for open discussions and also offers room to retreat and work on your own. Refugees and asylum seekers can teach here and learn from each other as well.
If you are interested in developing lectures, seminars or workshops or in sharing ideas with others, please get in touch or come and visit us. You are also welcome to send us an email in your own language.

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Contac ​Silent University Ruhr​

Leineweberstr. 15–17
45468 Mülheim an der Ruhr
Opening times: Mon. and Wed. 10.00 to 13.00, Thursday 14.00 to 17.00
and on appointment


Tel.: 0208 - 993 16 73

Omar Mohamad


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