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Access for refugees and Kiron students to university: in dialogue with Kiron’s partner institutions

Christoph Buerglen
2018 12 13

An important milestone for Kiron in 2018 was establishing closer and more regular contact with our partner universities and partner organizations. Our university transfer guidance team contributed to this by conducting a series of interviews with colleagues from German higher education institutions (HEIs) and organizations in the field. The goal of these interviews was to find out how the transfer of refugees and Kiron students to universities played out in 2018, what the main learnings were, and how these learnings could be applied in the future. A short paper written by Kironista Konstantin Selesnew discusses the key findings of these interviews. This work was part of the project INTEGRAL+, funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research. Download the full paper in German here.

The key findings of the interviews are as follows:

  1. Study preparation programs for refugees are essential to successful admission to university and study success. Higher education institutions and organizations are still determined to implement such programs. Kiron and its partners have great potential to explore the benefits of study preparation for prospective students with foreign university entrance qualifications.
  2. Individual student guidance counseling is most effective when it is available early on and along the entire pathway towards university. Kiron has established individualized and automized support mechanisms, and has to increasingly make use of the connection to its partners.
  3. The state-sponsored German language learning system is not sufficiently equipped to prepare prospective students for university entrance. HEI’s and Kiron are both filling the gap with tailor-made language offers, specifically for all refugees with the goal of succeeding in higher education.
  4. The current model allows Kiron students to apply for credit recognition for their Kiron MOOCs at university. Credit recognition, however, should also be explored with regard to foreign higher education entrance qualifications or access to master’s programs with foreign bachelor’s degrees.

Kiron is determined to continue the close cooperation with its partners and intensify the collaboration on these points, among others, in 2019. We are looking forward to working on the challenges ahead and exploring the possibilities of the German higher education system. For questions or remarks about this, please contact the author of the paper.
Konstantin Selesnew