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Educational participation of refugees

Im In this focal point, we address the questions of how educational patticipations is realised by people who have experienced displacement and how it can be realised in the future. We examine specific offers of support, for example regarding language acquisition. We also analyze the basic political and social conditions. The focal point’s activities are placed at the intersection of research, teaching and practice. It also represents a close cooperation between the university and locals from Hildesheim and Lower Saxony who work with refugees.

projects: research & practice

  • Publication: Rette sich, wer kann? Flüchtlingspolitik im Föderalismus

    Hannes Schammann (2015). Rette sich, wer kann? Flüchtlingspolitik im Föderalismus. bpb (Hg.). Bonn. Hannes Schammann Rette sich, wer kann

  • Campus Migrans: Research project to open up German universities for asylum seekers

    Campus Migrans: Research project to open up German universities for asylum seekers

    At many German universities, activities have been introduced to open up the teaching facilities for prospective students who have experienced displacement. Depending on the university location, there are offers consisting of language courses, guest student programmes, and introductory courses. These offers are often accompanied by psycho-social support in everyday life for the potential students. Many educational institutes have to overcome similar challenges during the initial phase of their opening process. This is why the exchange of experiences, success factors and good practices is essential.

    This is where Prof. Dr. Hannes Schammann and Christin Younso’s practical research project comes into play. In several qualitative case studies, they are collecting and analysing data on the first experiences at German university locations. The results will be presented in an illustrative and substantial handout that collects the most important factors of success and provides practical recommendations for an opening up of the universities.

    The final report was published on 13 May 2016 and is available as a free download (PDF).

    The project was created as a supplement to the predominantly juridical guidelines that have been compiled i. a. by the German Rectors’ Conference (“Hochschulrektorenkonferenz”) and the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (“Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge”). The project team members are in close exchange with these institutions.

    The project is supported by the Mercator Foundation.


    Hannes Schammann

    Christin Younso


    Research design:

    After analysing the documents and consulting with experts, six to eight universities are selected. At these universities, individual and focus group interviews are conducted with staff members and external people between December 2015 and February 2016. The selection is based on a list of criteria. The main criterion is the programmatic design to open up the university. Furthermore, structural requirements (soft criteria) are taken into account, e.g. the size and scientific direction of the university, the city/country the university is situated in, the number of refugees in the according region, and cooperation with external partners.

    Press release

    Courses of education: First displacement, then studying?

    Press review

    Universities show too much eagerness for helping refugees, new study warns (German), FAZ, 13 May 2016

    Refugees have only slim chances of getting a regular place to study (German), Deutschlandfunk, 13 May 2016

  • Introductory courses for refugees

    Since this year’s summer semester, asylum seekers with an academic background can make themselves familiar with university life during introductory courses. Participation in guest student programmes is also possible. This initiative is carried out by many academic and non-academic partners: the ZBI, the Institute of German Language and Literature, the Institute of Social Studies, the Central Student Advisory Board, the university library, Asyl e.V., and the University of Applied Sciences (HAWK). If interested, you are welcome to contact our peer-to-peer student advisory service” Anker-Peers”.

  • Managing radical changes

    UMBRÜCHE GESTALTEN (“Managing Radical Changes”). Language support and education as an integral part of innovative teacher training in Lower Saxony

    supported by Mercator Institute of Language Support and German as Second Language, University of Cologne.

    Duration: 1 March 2014 – 28 February 2017

  • KEA Multilingual assistance

    Kea is a concept for language education and support on an elementary level. It is carried out by the city and the district of Hildesheim. Educational staff, pedagogical supervisors and parents benefit from a wide range of complementary training options.

  • Spring School – German language diploma for lateral entrants

    Spring School – German language diploma for lateral entrants

    Foundation University Hildesheim
    Educational Integration Centre
    Institute of German Language and Literature

    In cooperation with Niedersächsisches Landesinstitut für Qualitätsentwicklung NLQ (Lower Saxony State Institute for School Quality Development), Walter-Gropius-Schule Hildesheim.

    Supervisor: Prof. Montanari

    During the 2015 summer semester, young people who came to Germany just a year before prepare for the German language diploma. The preparation courses are organised by Walter-Gropius-School Hildesheim and held by students under the supervision of Elke Montanari and Ralina Lutter. The compact seminar is focused on the subject “Presentations” which will be part of the exam later on. This German pilot project is designed to establish an internationally valid exam in order to provide the new classmates with a certificate for successful language acquisition.



    What is Pangea?
    About 300 million years ago, Pangea was a supercontinent assembled from all known continents.

    Pangea is a network of people who create a culture of welcome for refugees in Hildesheim.

    A culture of welcome means to us that people with different backgrounds, different paths and different directions in life come together. All of them have one common goal: to overcome boundaries, learn from each other and live together, not only next to each other. This also means going beyond just tolerating each other. It means that people have to communicate, interact, talk about what happened in the past, and influence the things to come in a positive way. The creation of a space for enriching personal encounters is important to us. We reach out to the people who are excluded systematically and methodically by society, people who seek shelter from wars, famines or political persecution. Our goal is to create public awareness and sensitivity for the refugees’ living conditions by establishing a dialogue between equal partners with them. Our work shall open up new perspectives for taking action.

    What do we do?
    We assist people in everyday situations where they need us. Beyond that, we offer additional services in the refugee hostel in Hildesheim’ s Nordstadt district:

    German courses
    Homework supervision
    Collective drama courses
    Sports and games opportunities
    Support in dealing with public authorities
    Basic guidance

    We aim to help refugees by facilitating their arrival in Hildesheim. We try to help them understand and capitalise on the existing infrastructure as well as encouraging them to cross linguistic borders. Our actions, which are continually evolving, are oriented towards their interests and needs. We cooperate with local institutions and networks. The unimpeded unfolding of all submitted ideas allows for the flat hierarchy of our organisation.

    We welcome anyone who shares our ideals and would like to participate with their ideas and their support.

    Contact: pan.gea@gmx.de



Prof. Dr. Hannes Schammann, Junior Professor of migration policy at the University Hildesheim Foundation, reports that our university is opening up to refugees who are willing to study.


  • Exhibition project: BETWEEN ART AND POLITICS

    Between art and politics. Cultural projects with refugees: Exhibition including performances and musical acts

    It is a widespread belief that art and culture would create a perfect playground for integration – or would even be the silver bullet of refugee policy. But is there anything to it? Students from the Institute of Cultural Politics and the Institute of Social Sciences have analysed relevant projects systematically and analytically for one semester. They are presenting the result of their work in an interactive exhibition creating their own project at the junction between art and politics.

    Presentation of the seminar in form of a one-day exhibition
    4:00 TO 7:00 PM

    Lecturers: Prof. Dr. Hannes Schammann, Nina Stoffers

  • Workshop “Refugee Club Impulse” in Berlin

    On Thursday, 28 January 2016, at 6:00 pm (room G 207), there will a workshop on the main campus organised by the Berlin-based “Refugee Club Impulse” as a follow-up to the exhibition. The speakers will introduce methods of theatre improvisation and creative writing that have the potential to empower refugees. You can register for the workshop during the exhibition or via e-mail to Elisa Elwert: elwerte@uni-hildesheim.de.

  • Lecture on the subject of “Globalisation and displacement”

    On 27 January 2016, at 8:00 pm, after the exhibition, Prof. Dr. Hannes Schammann is giving a lecture on the subject of “Globalisation and displacement” which takes place at Domäne, Room Hs 50/202, Hohes Haus, large seminar room. The public lecture is part of a qualification measure for volunteers working with refugees, organised by the district and the city of Hildesheim. It is free of charge.

    Contacts: Prof. Dr. Hannes Schammann (phone: 05121 / 883-10712, e-mail: hannes.schammann@uni-hildesheim.de) and Nina Stoffers (phone: 05121 / 883-20112, e-mail: stoffers@uni-hildesheim.de)

  • Excursion seminar “Educational work with refugees in the surrounding region”, summer semester 2015

    In the 2015 summer semester, Filiz Keküllüoğlu (coordinator ZBI) is offering a seminar during the excursion week (26 – 29 May 2015).

    Seminar description

    There are numerous international conventions ratified by Germany defining education as a human right, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child for instance. But in our ethnically diverse society, this legal right isn’t necessarily adhered to in practice. Especially children and teenagers with a migration background experience discrimination in the educational system every day. They face barriers while seeking access to public institutions. The seminar reflects on education as a human right for refugee children. Furthermore, it investigates possible actions and deficits in creating equal opportunities as well as a “culture of welcome” in the educational system. An important part of the seminar consists of visits to various refugee facilities and organisations. They constitute the basis for developing concepts for sustainable educational work with refugees in the region.

  • Course “The acquisition of a second writing system”, summer semester 2015

    In the 2015 summer semester, Prof. Dr. Elke Montanari is holding a seminar on the subject of “The acquisition of a second writing system”.

    Pupils who arrive in Germany when they are school-aged, for example young refugees, often face the challenge of learning a second writing system. How does the acquisition of a second writing system work? Taking multialphabetism into account, this course explores possibilities and concepts of acquiring a second written language at school after elementary instruction.

  • The European Union’s migration policy, summer semester 2015

    This seminar outlines the principles of European migration policy.Considering Europe’s common asylum system including the much discussed Dublin Regulation, Prof. Dr. Hannes Schammann also reflects on possible limits of European solidarity and looks at labour migration within and to Europe.

  • Investigating PEGIDA (Political culture), summer semester 2015

    This seminar investigates the “Pegida” movement. What is the relation between Pegida and the German discourse on migration? Is it a “far right”, even “hostile” or “anti-democratic” movement?  What is the purpose of villainising Muslims? These questions have to be answered with the aid of theoretical concepts. Participants get to know successful approaches to prevent “group-focused enmity” at school or in the neighbourhood. An integral part of the seminar is an excursion into Muslim life in Lower Saxony.

    Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Hannes Schammann

  • Lecture series multilingualism

    The Institute of Intercultural Communication demonstrated the variety of individual, social and institutional aspects of multilingualism in the public lecture series “Multilingualism, language contact & educational biography” by letting the lecturers themselves present their educational biographies.

    The lecture series was supported by CeLeB and ZBI.

    Lecture Series Multilingualism Educational Biography handout WS 201415 (German)

press releases


  • CONFERENCE: Justice – Education – Migration 2015

    further  information

Stiftung Universität Hildesheim


Stiftung Universität Hildesheim
Zentrum für Bildungsintegration.
Diversity und Demokratie in Migrationsgesellschaften

Stiftung Universität Hildesheim
Universitätsplatz 1
31141 Hildesheim

E-Mail: zbi@uni-hildesheim.de
Fon: +49 (0)5121 - 883 10120
Fax: +49 (0)5121 - 883 10121

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