German universities are providing education, language tuition and financial assistance to help refugees become students, a report says.
Other types of support have also been provided for refugees by more than 60 universities in Germany, according to the survey carried out by the German Rectors’ Conference, which is known as the Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (HRK).
These include holding information events on studying at university, advice on how to prepare for student life, legal advice, psychosocial support and help to find accommodation.
“Through activities like these, universities are making an important contribution to the social integration of refugees and sending out a signal for an open, forward-looking society,” said Horst Hippler, president of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and HRK president.
“We don't want to deny access to education and doctoral training to individuals who have insufficient evidence of educational qualifications due to their refugee status,” said Professor Hippler.
“I would like to encourage universities to make full use of the scope allowed by law to offer refugees encouraging prospects. This survey shows that in many places this is already happening,” he added.
The results of the survey, carried out among the 16 state rectors’ conferences, was also welcomed by Dieter Lenzen, president of the University of Hamburg and HRK vice-president.
“Universities also urgently need additional funding to safeguard the assistance they are providing in the long term,” said Professor Lenzen. "Only then can we provide long-term financial and psychosocial support to often highly qualified but sometimes traumatised refugees.”
However, he welcomed the “concerted effort by all decision-makers so promptly together with the responsible ministries and funding organisations”.
“German universities are proceeding on the assumption that politicians will make the necessary financial resources for what is ultimately a humanitarian duty available with minimal red tape,” he added.