Preparing Refugees for Study in Germany

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is part of a collaborative project to help guide refugees into university study. Partners to the joint project are the social start-up, “Kiron Open Higher Education”, the Rheinisch Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH), and the Lübeck University. The aim of the project, called INTEGRAL 2, is to digital teaching and learning scenarios to help refugees to integrate and gain access to German universities.

By supporting the project, the BMBF and its partners are pursing several goals: supporting talented young people to gain access to university places; to promote and develop innovative forms of teaching and learning, as well as developing these innovations as a pilot project for wider application.

The main aspect of the project will be skills assessment and online support for the preparation and entrance to university, including digital language courses and online mentoring. The focus will be across a range of fields, developed with the partner organisations, and will include online curricula in, for example, engineering, business administration and economics, computer science and social sciences. The Fachhochschule Lübeck and RWTH Aachen have many years experience in the preparation of online courses.

Along with the formal learning requirements, the project also has other gaols, such as to promote independent learning skills, and to increase the participation of female refugees, as well as account for cultural diversity with the online materials.

The sustainability and transferability will be an important aspect of the exchange between Kiron and RWTH Aachen, as well as through the systematic networking of other universities, projects and institutions.

“This strategic cooperation with our partner universities is an important step for the development of research based digital educational programmes and to provide educational opportunities to many displaced people. The support of the BMBF is essential in helping us to lead this innovative project as a success, and to therefore allow for its further dissemination and use, ” said Vincent rooms, co-founder of Kiron.

Kiron Open Higher Education is a company founded in spring 2015 as a social start-up that, in close cooperation with partner universities, opens access to higher education for refugees using digital teaching and learning formats.

The integration of foreign students in Germany is an important task to which the BMBF is committed. Recently, there has been a special focus on measures which provide study prospects for refugees. The BMBF is funding the joint project from September 2016 for a period of 13 months.

Photo credit: “www.colourbox.com”. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from the BMBF.

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