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Educational interests and labour market qualifications of refugees

Published on 4. März 2016, 11:44 h
First-ever survey in Germany at Bielefeld University

It is frequently reported that many of the refugees coming to Germany are well educated. This is not only an opportunity for industry but also for the universities. However, up to now and based on currently available information, there still seems to be no comprehensive database on the level of education and the educational interests of refugees anywhere in Germany. The situation is similar for the labour market. Both could lead to a great loss of human potential. This is why the Bielefeld 2000plus Intercultural Work Group at Bielefeld University has launched a survey to gather data on the topic.


‘The Work Group soon agreed that something needs to be done here. All our work groups are deliberately interdisciplinary,’ says Şenol Keser, the coordinator of Bielefeld2000plus and the project manager. The members are representatives of several faculties at Bielefeld University and Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, the Federal Agency for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK), the municipal integration centre, the AK Asyl (an organization counselling refugees), Bielefeld University’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence (IKG), the Federal Labour Office, and further related institutions from Bielefeld and the region.

‘The universities are very interested in finding out how many of the refugees are potential students and what their educational background is. The labour market also wants to know what vocational qualifications the refugees bring with them. Only then can the universities and the labour market really respond to needs appropriately,’ explains Professor Dr. Reinhold Decker, scientific director of Bielefeld 2000plus and Vice-Rector for Information Management. To gather first impressions, the Intercultural Work Group put together an anonymous online questionnaire in German, English, Farsi (Persian), French, Arabic, and Russian. The idea is to use this as a model in Bielefeld and the region to gain preliminary data on the local situation. ‘The questionnaire is deliberately digital. That brings it much closer to the life situation of the refugees. Most of them have a smartphone or some other way of accessing the Internet, and they can use this to complete the roughly 15-minute questionnaire whenever they choose. One particular feature is that the questionnaire could be used as a model for every German city,’ emphasizes the academic assistant Tobias Reher.

Eleni Andrianopulu, the speaker for the Vice-Rector for International Affairs and Diversity, explains that the project will be supported and funded by the Rektorat. ‘We view this as a very important topic. As far as we know, no university in Germany is carrying out such a survey. Hopefully, we shall inspire others.’  

Since 1997, the Initiative ‘Bielefeld 2000plus – Forschungsprojekte zur Region’ has been bringing together Bielefeld University and the city of Bielefeld so that both the city and the region can take even greater advantage of having a university in Bielefeld. The aim is to intensify the networking of science, the city, and the region and to promote the exchange of expert knowledge outside of institutions. Bielefeld 2000plus is pursuing this aim by organizing work groups and projects with representatives of academia and the city administration; citizens of Bielefeld; and a wide range of institutions representing industry, culture, urban development, and education.

The questionnaire is available online: http://ww3.unipark.de/uc/refsurv
The flyer is online: www.uni-bielefeld.de/bi2000plus/images/Flyer.pdf

Further information is available online at: www.uni-bielefeld.de/bi2000plus/

Contact:
Şenol Keser, M.A., Bielefeld University
Bielefeld 2000plus
Telephone: +49 521 106-4874 or +49 176 61 00 54 08
Email: bi2000plus@wiwi.uni-bielefeld.de

Posted by NFrei in General
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