Refugee Integration and Skilled Migration: A New Role for German Universities?

Expert Report | November 2021

Refugees studying at German higher education institutions face diverse obstacles which block their access to the local labour market. Some of these challenges are the same as those faced by other international students, others are much more difficult, for example as regards the right to stay in Germany. The extent to which refugees are thus able to access the labour market is therefore highly dependent on the support they receive from higher education institutions and other local organisations. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has developed two programmes – Integration of Refugees into Higher Education (INTEGRA) and Promoting the Professional Integration of Academics with a Refugee Background Into the German Labour Market (PROFI) – which aim to help prepare refugees for their study programmes and find employment after they graduate. Both programmes are funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The accompanying study conducted by the Expert Council on Integration and Migration (SVR) analyses the effectiveness of the programme strategies in facilitating refugee students’ access to the German labour market. The goal is to describe success factors and to develop recommendations for higher education policy-makers and practitioners.