Joint press release with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Higher education programme for refugees extended

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Support of student initiatives and study preparation offers will be continued until 2018

Bonn/Berlin, 11.10.2016. About 450 initiatives at 162 universities throughout Germany: through the “Welcome” programme of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung – BMBF) is currently financing student initiatives all over Germany, which are dedicated to refugees at their universities. The initiatives cover a wide range of services such as legal advice for refugees, language teaching or practical assistance in everyday university life. Previously limited to this year, the programme will be extended to the end of 2018.

“The enthusiasm with which students have started projects to help refugees in cooperation with their universities is impressive. The response to our programme by the universities is great. Most refugees wishing to study initially find it hard to find their way around the German higher education system. The student initiatives offer valuable assistance in this regard. We support this commitment with the Welcome programme,” said Federal Education Minister Johanna Wanka. Eight regional networking events taking place throughout Germany in October and November are intended to provide an opportunity for an exchange between university staff responsible for the Welcome project, students, refugees and local representatives.

“Our measures are met with great interest both by the universities and the refugee students. The students know that successful studies are a decisive factor influencing their professional perspectives and hence good integration in Germany. The readiness and motivation to overcome barriers related to the specific field of study, language or culture is correspondingly high. Our universities fulfil an important social task in this respect,” said DAAD President Prof. Margret Wintermantel.

Apart from the Welcome programme, the Integra programme – supporting language and preparatory courses at universities for prospective student refugees – will also be extended beyond 2016 until the end of 2018. Both programmes are part of the BMBF package of measures designed for integration of refugees at higher education institutions implemented by the DAAD since last autumn. A total of EUR 100 million are provided by the BMBF for this purpose over a period of four years.

Since September 2016, the BMBF is furthermore supporting an innovative education platform called “Kiron Open Higher Education” in association with its partner universities of applied sciences RWTH Aachen and FH Lübeck. Kiron is a social start-up in close cooperation with the partner universities facilitating flexible access to higher education for refugees through digital teaching and study formats.

Further information

BMBF package of measures (in German)

Examples of Welcome programme projects

Examples of Integra programme projects

Information for refugees interested in academic study

About support of Kiron Open Higher Education (in German)

Please direct any questions to:

Anke Sobieraj
Head of Press Relations
DAAD – German Academic Exchange Service
Tel.: +49 (0)228 882-454