Education for refugees: university, job and German language search

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Education is an important tool for the integration of refugees, to which there are already numerous projects. We also want to help. Meanwhile the Friedrich Ebert Foundation publishes a study on the admission of refugees to higher education.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherGerman Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


Creative projects around the topic of refugees

There are some creative projects to improve the difficult situation of the refugees. Thomas Eggert has launched the blog parade HR for Refugees in his blog, in which I am happy to contribute. Further projects are presented there.

The best known example is the Jobeer job exchange, which aims to bring refugees and potential employers together. The online university for refugees, on the other hand, may / hopefully soon become redundant.

Hackatons and search engines

On the 24th / 25th A refuge hackaton is planned for October in Berlin, with the aim of finding technical solutions for refugees. The online magazine Refupreneur goes one step further and wants to support refugees in implementing their own ideas in crowdfunding projects.

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On too Best of HR –® We were not idle and provide refugees since this week a free search engine for German courses throughout Germany. In addition, employers and refugees offer advice on the selection of suitableCourses and are provided by an expert with many years of experience in German languageCourses for migrants.

Involvement of the Federal Government

In this regard, I found the German government's commitment somewhat disappointing: the government had already announced the arrival scholarship in August with 12.000 euros, which supports corresponding projects.

However, on closer inspection, it can be seen that only in-kind services such as office spaces worth 12.000 are to be granted. In order to really start something sensible, even 12.000 Euro would be too little. The PR-acting as a great financial syringe to sell is a joke.

Study shows: hurdles are to be dismantled

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung has said this week, currently talks between ministries and universities are currently being conducted in all the federal states in order to reduce hurdles for university entrance for refugees and to adapt regulations.

In August 2015, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung carried out a survey among all federal ministries responsible for universities in order to find out how university access for refugees is regulated in the individual federal states.

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The results of the survey (without Baden-Würtenberg, Bremen, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein) are intended to show that many ministries are nevertheless willing to actively engage in the reception of refugees at the university. This includes, for example, the online offer for information also available in several languages.

Previous regulations

Refugees are already open to access to universities in Germany. When studying, they are treated like other foreign students.

The problem in many cases: To study in Germany is entitled if abroad a proof of education was acquired, which is equivalent to a university entrance qualification acquired in Germany and the required language skills are available.

Problem of missing documents

If there is no university entrance qualification, the path to a Studienkolleg is usually open. After completing the examination, a specialized course may be taken. In the case of admission-restricted subjects, the pre-qualification for foreign (non-EU) students also applies to refugees.

The problem is missing documents. In this case, the decision of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the 8.11.1985 can be used: An indirect proof of university access is possible if study applicants can not provide the necessary documents for political reasons.

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Accordingly, simple copies or affidavits can be accepted in individual cases. Several ministries recommend that universities do not apply stringent standards in the case of individual cases. However, in the absence of documents, there is a need for further regulation in the opinion of several countries. A working group of the KMK is currently discussing how the decision can be adapted to the current situation.

Residence permit for students

As far as the residence permit is concerned, the following applies: the residence permit is subject to university status. The residence permit is usually issued only after admission to the course of study has been granted. The residence law stipulates that the first residence permit is valid for one to two years. An extension is possible upon request.

While access to higher education is open to refugees in all federal states, the results are very different in support measures. LanguageCourses, orientation and counseling programs are offered in many of the federal states. Only a few countries have reported on targeted financial support. In some Länder, there is no special support for refugees apart from the general offers for foreign students.

Admission tests for university entrance

In Lower Saxony, there is the option to obtain university admission for an admission-free course if you pass the entrance test without an additional assessment test. Refugees are promoted through guidance and counseling services through the initiative “Open universities in Lower Saxony”. There are free intensive languageCourses and other funding available.

In addition to languageCourses and other support measures, the school also offers the opportunity for refugees to receive support from 1000 Euro for the start-up phase and the completion phase. This can be used, for example, to finance application, enrollment and dues fees as well as social contributions. In addition, the fees for a study visit are taken over.

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Discussions are currently underway to close the performance gaps for refugee students and to reduce or cover the matriculation costs (e.g. registration costs at Uni-Assist). There is also the initiative to develop an entrance exam as an alternative access to the course. ”

Voting is important

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation concludes:

Even if no comprehensive statistical coverage of the status of refugees has taken place at universities so far, it is assumed that inquiries and applications will increase. A nation-wide vote of central open questions is desirable.

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