The Berlin district of Wedding is known as a melting pot of different nations and cultures. Dr. Fadi Alshalabi has set up his office here in a former language school – two rooms, a number of desks, laptops, screens, whiteboards and, in the basement, a small video studio. While outside, people from all different nations are walking through the sunny streets of Berlin, former Syrian university professor Fadi Alshalabi is here teaching young refugees. As an experienced teacher he knows that, in our high-tech world, the only thing that will give young people a foothold in the world of work is specialist knowledge. That is why his online learning platform “Niuversity” offers knowledge and skills which are as practical as possible. From English and Java to marketing and video technology, they include all the skills that refugees might need in Germany.

Company: Niuversity
Type of business: GmbH (limited company)
Sector: state approved online learning platform
Founder: Dr. Fadi Al Shalabi
Year of founding: 2017
Founded in: Berlin
Employees: 2 partners, 4 employees
Branches: Munich, Damascus, Canberra (Australia), Dubai
Profession of founder in home country: Lecturer at the University of Damascus

The dream behind the project

“I know that things can only be achieved through education. When I saw all the refugees coming to Germany, I knew that, by opening doors for these people, I could make my own dream of knowledge transfer come true.“

3 questions, 3 answers

WJD: What exactly is the Niuversity?

Al Shalabi: The Niuversity is an online learning platform for professional development. People can join our courses from wherever they happen to be. The courses take the form of live teaching. Teachers and students are all in the same virtual room at the same time. We hold the lessons in Arabic because, when we started out, we noticed that all the refugees who joined the courses wanted to be taught in their own language. But the teaching materials and presentations are in English.



WJD: What does the German job market demand from your pupils?

Alshalabi: Our teaching is strongly focused on the requirements of the German market. These include graphic design, online marketing, content marketing, data processing and cloud computing. These are all skills which you can easily learn if you have the right basic knowledge, and which enable candidates to apply to companies here for work.

WJD: How do you reach people who might be interested?

Alshalabi: Mainly via social media. We have a very good student network, so news travels fast about the courses we offer. Many of my former students from Damascus have since come to us here.


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