Struggling with Diversity? German Universities and the Student Experiences of First- and Second-Generation Migrants (November 2016 – June 2017)

First- and second-generation migrants account for one in four students at German universities today. Apart from tens of thousands of ‘educational nomads’ who are drawn to Germany every year because of its study programs, ethnic diversity is largely home-grown as more and more second-generation migrants flock to the country’s universities and universities of applied sciences. However, despite notable interest from policy-makers and higher education leaders, very little is known about the experiences and day-to-day challenges of different groups of migrant students.

Recent studies have shown that migrants in Germany are not only less likely to attend higher education, they are also more likely to drop out of study programmes. In order to find out more, the Expert Council’s Research Unit set out to analyse the educational experiences of migrant students. Based on the analysis, (policy) recommendations were developed, aiming to improve the educational opportunities of first- and second-generation migrants in Germany.

The project was funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The results were published in May 2017.


Tackling the Diversity Challenge. Ethnic Diversity and Student Success in the German Higher Education System


Student Diversity in the German Higher Education System 2015
Obstacles to Degree Completion for International Students and First- and Second-Generation Migrants
Analytical Potential of Selected Datasets with Regard to Investigating Student Success in the German Higher Education System


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