Refugees with an academic background can visit lectures and seminars at the University of Bremen where they can achieve a certificate - regardless of their refugee status. They get to know the German academic system, can use
their time for something meaningful on a reasonable intellectual level and develop new perspectives for their future career. They are also given the chance to make friends and use the facilities of the university.
Issue/challenge and goal/assumption
During the last years a rising number of highly qualified refugees came to Bremen. They are holding a university degree or had to interrupt their studies.
Especially during the time when they are waiting for a decision on their asylum application, refugees are forced to do nothing. In the refugee hostels they miss places of silence, internet connection or any reasonable resources.
Our aim is to provide exactly that - as one of the first bridges into a new life. IN-Touch also provides the chance to gain back lost self-confidence and hope, after being through traumatizing experiences and a receiver of charity.
We roughly assume that about 80 potential participants reach Bremen per year.
How does it work
The University of Bremen contacts refugee hostels and other organizations involved in refugee matters to make IN-Touch known. The refugees then can register at the International Office of the University of Bremen in person.
During the registration process the individual educational background is discussed as well as what the university can offer. For the regular participation and other academic accomplishments a certificate is awarded at the end of term.
42 registrations and 10 certificates in 2014 reflect the situation after two terms. As there were no comparable projects, we did not specify our goals in terms of quantity in the beginning of the project. It is our aim to increase the number of certificates in 2015.
The qualitative goals of the project were achieved. IN-Touch enjoys a high reputation among the target audience.
The project was evaluated on the basis of registrations, certificates and lists of participants.
There were 42 participants and 10 who achieved a certificate for a successful regular participation.
32 attendees left the course early; while 10 informed us about their reasons for leaving early (the reasons were not related to the project, but to personal matters), the dropouts for the other 22 remain unclear. Based on these experiences, the project implemented a mentoring programm in 2015 to broadly support the participants.
Who will benefit?
Refugees with an academic background will benefit from the project.
Source of funding and Resources used
In 2014 the project was realized by additional work and had no funding at all. In 2015 and 2016 a
donation of 6.000 € by the Bremer Wertpapierbörse supports the project.
- Universität Bremen - International Office
- Jens Kemper
- Project Manager