The current ongoing development of the refugee situation in the Federal Republic of Germany means that German society is facing enormous challenges with respect to integration.
In addition to language qualifications, currently the main tools for the successful integration of refu-gees into German society appear to be university education and the acquisition of vocational qualifi-cations.
There are many refugees with considerable interest in pursuing further education or a university education in order to qualify for the world of work. Having already earned a qualification for admission to higher education or having already started studying at university, they wish to continue their studies until they have completed their degree in order to enter the working world in Germany.
Aims of the program
The measures proposed below are intended to make a major educational and socio-political contribution to the integration of refugees in Germany. The target group concerns those refugees who are interested in pursuing further training or a university education.
The intention of the 4-stage program is to assist refugees in reaching their goal of further training or university education.
The program involves the following preparatory measures, in which refugees:
- will first of all be provided with extensive information concerning study and training opportunities in Germany,
- will then receive an overview of the German educational system and the range of classes and degree programs on offer in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
- will finally be prepared for admission to a degree program at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences by means of a succession of courses that build upon one another.
The preparatory sessions are intended to impart greater understanding of German culture as well as forms of problem-based learning. A peer mentoring program will be employed to improve the ability of refugees to study. They will also be systematically prepared for admission to a degree program as well as being provided with support during their studies.
As around 40 percent of all Beuth students have an immigrant background (according to a recent university survey), they possess considerable potential to become qualified mentors due to their practical knowledge of and success in dealing with similar integration issues at Beuth University.
As a beneficial side effect, the program would strengthen the mentors’ existing identification with German culture and the university.
In October 2015, the university formed an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary working group. The working group consists of around fifteen members of staff, some of whom are former refugees themselves. They meet regularly every two to three weeks. The program presented below has been developed by this working group.
Measures (towards the integration of refugees)
The 4-stage program, which is currently under development, will be launched in the summer semester of 2016.
In parallel a class will be offered whose purpose is to qualify peer mentors for 40 students of the university (preferably with an immigrant background). The course for the mentors will not only provide basic peer mentoring knowledge and skills but also specific knowledge concerning problem-based learning, on dealing effectively with cultural diversity and assisting refugees suffering from trauma.
Refugees interested in joining this program should contact us at the following e-mail address: refugees(at)beuth-hochschule.de