Refugees on their way into German Higher Education (WeGe)


The WeGe-study investigates the situation in study preparation classes and the key conditions for a successful integration of refugees and asylum seekers into the German higher education system.

On this website you'll find information and the latest news on the study. Moreover, we will provide information about our findings, publications and upcoming events. Participants will have the possibility to update their contact information.

Does Higher Education (HE) Promote Integration? Symposium from July 10th to 12th 2019 in Hanover

The symposium "Does Higher Education (HE) Promote Integration? The Dynamics of Integration and Academic Success for Students of Refugee Background (SoRB) at German Universities", funded by the VolkswagenFoundation, starts next week. Organisers are the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies, represented by Prof. Dr. Monika Jungbauer-Gans (scientific director) und Jana Berg (project "WeGe"), and the Berlin Refugee Research Group, represented by Prof. Dr. Bernhard Streitwieser (George Washington University, Washington D.C.).

Researchers from higher education, international education, migration and refugee studies, as well as invited experts and SoRB themselves will engage in the exchange of ideas around access to higher education, integration chances, as well as the role of organizational and institutional contexts. While the focus will squarely be on Germany, international comparisons will also permeate every facet of the symposium. In a particular panel, students and academics of refugee background will reflect on conditions and chances of promoting integration through higher education. The program can be downloaded here. As part of the symposium, the latest results from our ongoing research project WeGe will also be presented. A lecture examines the learning strategies of participants in Studienkolleg courses. A poster summarizes the results of qualitative interviews with refugees and experts as well as the first questionnaire survey among participants in preparatory courses.



StS / MG

Which factors can lead to drop-out intentions and influence the self-perceived chances of success?

One of the research questions we are dealing with in the WeGe project is about the requirements for a successful transition from study preparation to univerity study. With initial quantitative data from our study preparation survey, we can now examine factors associated with intentions to drop-out of study preparation for refugee and other international students and how confident they are to pass the exam at the end of the course preparation. We were able to present the first results at the 1. International User-Conference of the Research Data Center of the DZHW and discuss them with international university researchers. Many thanks at this point for the constructive feedback on the presentation. First results indicate that refugee prospective students by no means judge their chances of success worse than other international students. However, they think a little more frequently to drop-out from study preparation. We are currently preparing our analyzes for publication in an anthology and look forward to presenting more results here soon.


Presentation at the spring-conference of the Section Education and Training of the German Sociological Association (DGS)

Subject choice and access to the desired field of study are key factors for starting to study. If students are strongly interested in their subject their motivation to study is higher and they tend to maintain their study goals, even if there are attractive alternatives like vocational education and training. On the other hand the likelihood of drop out increases if students cannot access their desired field of study. It is worth investigating these issues already during study preparation of international students with and without refugee background, since a high risk of drop out is repeatedly reported for this group.

We therefore analyzed the aspirations of participants in study preparation courses with and without refugee background regarding the following questions: 1) what causes a possible discrepancy between students' desired fields of study and the programs they realistically expect to study once they have finished the preparation course? 2) And what dimensions and patterns of reasoning can be reconstructed from the perspective of the students? We analyzed the first wave of the study preparation survey comprising 1019 respondents of 74 preparation courses. Additionally, we interpreted eleven episodic interviews with refugee students of the explorative preliminary study.

Convergence or discrepancy between the desired and the realistically expected field of study are influenced by the evaluation and recognition of degrees and credits as well as subject-specific access restrictions. Furthermore, prior educational pathways and biographical resources and also social capital and information are affecting the access chances to higher education.