Study perspectives for refugees – in cooperation with Volkswagen Group
Period: December 2016 – December 2020
Since 2016, Volkswagen Group and Kiron Open Higher Education have been cooperating to support refugees in their pathway to higher education. As part of the collaboration, Volkswagen has initially funded 100 study places for Kiron students. A particular focus of this mutual effort is on the MINT study fields: Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering.
In efforts to provide Kiron students with enhanced opportunities prior to and early on in their professional careers, Volkswagen has collaborated on a multitude of endeavors including aiding refugee students through integration workshops. In continuum, a recent professional guidance program (“Lotsenprogramm”) was piloted with the aim of fostering exchange between refugee students and Volkswagen employees. The majority of Volkswagen guides are recent graduates and doctoral students, enabling information sharing about either the recently finished studies or the starting of a working career in Germany from a familiar young-minded perspective. Furthermore, Volkswagen offered pre-study internships which are obligatory for studying Mechanical Engineer at several German universities.
Volkswagen guides and Kiron students
„Volkswagen supports students not only with 100 study places, particularly focusing on the MINT study field, but moreover enables mentoring and guidance by Volkswagen employees, as well as internship opportunities giving insight and perspective into daily work, becoming familiar with our subject specific issues. This is how we accompany dedicated prospective academics along their path of professional development.”
Ariane Kilian, Coordinator of Volkswagen Group Refugee Support, Volkswagen Group
„We are happy to be able to encourage and support dedicated young professionals in their journey towards obtaining an academic degree. Due to the high technical qualification requirements in the automotive industry, this path helps lead to high standards of language skills and certified educational qualifications. As such, we progress to strengthen these two components over the long term and continue our commitment in working with refugees in the coming years. I will also be raising this subject during the information exchange discussion with Angela Merkel this evening.”
Dr. Karlheinz Blessing, Management Board, Human Resources & Organization, Volkswagen Group