Access to higher education studies by refugees – guidance for higher education institutions and Studentenwerke

In the year 2015, 890,000 asylum seekers were registered in Germany. There are currently hardly any reliable figures on their educational background. Non-representative surveys by the Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF) suggest that many refugees of Syrian origin have a high level of education and are interested in studying in Germany.

Higher education institutions, Studienkollegs (preparatory colleges) and Studierendenwerke have a wealth of experience in integrating international students, but the admission of refugees to preparatory courses and regular study programmes brings with it numerous new issues relating to asylum law, residence law, social law, funding and higher education law.

The publication “Access to higher education studies by refugees – guidance for higher education institutions and Studentenwerke” is a catalogue of fundamental information offering orientation on the topics of “residence status and asylum procedures – integration into higher education studies – Grundsicherung (subsistence allowance) and insurance”. It is aimed at employees from higher education institutions and Studierendenwerke who inform and advise refugees interested in higher education studies. It is a joint publication by:

  • Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF),
  • Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK),
  • Deutscher Akademische Austauschdienst (DAAD),
  • Deutsches Studierendenwerk (DSW),
  • Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (HRK),
  • Sachverständigenrat deutscher Stiftungen für Integration und Migration (SVR).

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Service Point for Intercultural Competence

Establishing a culture of welcome for international students: this is the task of the Service Point for Intercultural Competence (SIK) with its comprehensive programme of information, advice and further training. A grant from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) makes this possible.


Service for international students

The 57 Studentenwerke and Studierendenwerke in Germany ensure that students are offered more than just a research and teaching programme at their university, and that they feel comfortable and welcome here. They shape the framework conditions of higher education studies and take into account the diversity of the students.