Integra – Integrating Refugees in Degree Programmes

Norbert Hüttermann/DAAD

The Integra programme gives refugees with academic ability the opportunity to prepare for higher education studies by participating in preparatory courses at German universities, universities of applied sciences and preparatory colleges. The aim is to enable them to enter higher education as quickly as possible.


In recent months, almost no other topic has dominated the media as much as the refugee situation in Germany, Europe and countries neighbouring crisis regions. The DAAD has been operating successfully in crisis areas and conflict zones around the world for many years now, providing scholarships and supporting various higher education projects. This commitment has been challenged and reinforced in light of the refugee situation. Over recent months, the DAAD has used funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to develop programmes that give refugee students the opportunity to integrate successfully into the German higher education system and take up or continue academic studies.

Programme objectives

The Integra programme is part of a comprehensive package of measures offered by the DAAD, for which the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is providing a total of EUR 100 million until 2019. The aim of the Integra programme is to give refugees with academic ability the opportunity to enter higher education. They can prepare for higher education at university by completing language courses and subject-specific preparatory courses.

Integrating refugees into higher education presents new and significant challenges for universities. The programme measures are focused on funding subject-specific and linguistic training at preparatory colleges and higher education institutions. The refugees currently coming to Germany bring with them a wide variety of educational backgrounds and skills. To facilitate their integration into a regular degree programme and help them complete their studies successfully, it is important to determine their level of linguistic competence and subject-specific knowledge before they begin a degree programme (e.g. through onSET, TestAS or uni-assist). The refugees’ aptitude and individual requirements in terms of preparatory measures must also be established by means of a targeted course guidance session.

The aim is to give refugees with academic ability the chance to begin a degree programme as quickly as possible. According to national law, they are normally entitled to enter higher education regardless of the status of their asylum application. Implementing measures to integrate refugees into everyday university life and into German higher education structures is intended to enable them to forge a close link to the university. Linguistic and subject-specific learning content is delivered to the participants within this framework. The overall aim is to facilitate the successful integration of academically able refugees into higher education studies at German universities and enable them to take up higher education programmes in the long term.

Call for applications

If we have sparked your interest in our Integra scholarship programme, please follow the link below to our call for applications and the measures it includes. Please note that no date has been set as yet for the next application round.

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Funded projects and participating partners

A list of the universities currently participating in the programme and the corresponding profiles are available at the following links.

  • List of universities currently participating in the programme (pdf, 0.2 MB)


German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Higher Education Programmes for Refugees – P15
Katharina Fourier
Head of Section
Tel.: +49 228 882 259

Further information

Learn more about the successes and the great commitment of the people taking part in the Integra programme, and follow us on the feedback page.

Everything you need to know about DAAD funding opportunities relating to refugees in higher education can be found on our website.