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1.2 million euro for integrating refugees at Bielefeld University

Published on 18. Februar 2020, 14:59 h
NRW Ministry and DAAD to continue funding

For the next few years, Bielefeld University can continue its work to integrate students and study applicants with a refugee background. The Ministry of Culture and Science (MKW) in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) is making more than 1.2 million euro available to fund the work of the university from now until the end of 2022. The money comes from the programme ‘NRWege ins Studium – Integration von Flüchtlingen an Hochschulen in Nordrhein-Westfalen’ [Ways to study in NRW – Integration of refugees in universities in North Rhine-Westphalia] that is being coordinated by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).


‘With this money, we can, for example, carry on counselling study applicants with a refugee background at the university’s clearing centre for refugees,’ explains the Vice-rector for International Affairs und Diversity, Professor Dr Angelika Epple. Every year, the clearing centre counsels about 600 highly qualified refugees on study applications and study courses and answers more than 1,000 email queries.

The intensive German course to prepare students that lasts about half a year will also be continued. Refugee study applicants who now live in the East Westphalia-Lippe region are given the opportunity to take an intensive course to get their German up to the necessary standard to study and prepare for the obligatory German-language examination to gain access to university (TestDaF). ‘This is often the only precondition that is lacking for commencing or continuing professional studies,’ explains Heike Brandl, the head of department responsible for this at the International Office. Since 2016, from 40 to 60 participants with a confirmed knowledge of German on the B1 level have been admitted to the course each semester.

The funding will also be used for study-course-related and career-preparatory courses. As in previous years, these are open to all international students at the university. International and refugee students who are already engaged in professional studies can attend study orientation and study-related courses adjusted to the student life cycle. The courses are tailored to fit the specific study backgrounds of international and refugee students. They should make it easier to start studying and increase the probability of completing studies successfully.  With the help of target-group-specific career-oriented courses, participants can also build up career perspectives for their personal future in Germany.  

In addition, Bielefeld University is continuing its cooperation with other universities in the ‘Campus OWL’ initiative. The universities in the East Westphalia-Lippe region (Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, Bielefeld University, Paderborn University, the OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts, and the Detmold University of Music) exchange information regularly on all issues regarding refugees and their care.

Further information:
• Services on the Homepage für Geflüchtete [homepage for refugees)
Pressemitteilung DAAD and MKW press releases on NRWege Leichttürme

Posted by NLangohr in General
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