Campus Initiative for International Talents

Foto of diverse group of people outside

The demand for academically qualified specialists is increasing in Germany, in the European Union and worldwide. There is a growing shortage of academically qualified experts, especially in STEM professions. International students at German universities and international academics have great potential to counteract this shortage of skilled workers. In order to make an effective contribution to securing skilled labour in Germany, the DAAD is using funds from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to support German higher education institutions with the "Campus Initiative for International Experts" in developing support structures and career services for international students and graduates in Germany. At the same time, the DAAD promotes the reduction of labour market-related barriers to integration by implementing various structure-building measures in order to attract more international students as future professionals to the German labour market.

In the winter semester of 2022/23, German universities will have a record number of international students. In an international comparison, Germany continues to be one of the most attractive study locations for young international talents. For a large number of them, the good prospects of staying on later in their careers are also a major factor in their decision to study in Germany. And yet, around 45 percent of international Bachelor's students and around 31 percent of international Master's students drop out of their studies in Germany early, contrary to their original plans. This means that the dropout rate for international students is about twice as high as for students with a German education. Of the approximately 50,000 international students who successfully complete their studies in Germany each year, more than half obtain a degree in STEM. International students thus occupy occupational fields in which there is a rapidly increasing shortage of skilled workers far more frequently than their fellow students in Germany. And despite the existing desire to stay and generous legal opportunities granted to international graduates of German universities to find work in Germany, a strikingly high number of these successful talents fail to make the hoped for leap into the German labour market. Even one year after graduation, around one third of international graduates are still looking for work.  

In order to specifically prepare international prospective students for the requirements of studying in Germany, to support them in their integration into their studies and subsequently in their transition to the German labour market, the "FIT" programme promotes the establishment of measures for study preparation, study support and study success assurance as well as the expansion of career services for international students and labour market-relevant networks at German higher education institutions.  

The "Profi plus" funding programme promotes the establishment of academic qualificati-on programmes for international academics at German higher education institutions with the aim of equipping participants with additional qualifications and knowledge for an educationally adequate career in Germany. 

The measures within the framework of the university funding programmes "FIT" and "Profi plus" are accompanied by an intensive dialogue with politics and relevant stakeholders in science and society in order to bundle knowledge on international skilled labour recruitment and make it accessible to relevant bodies and the interested public. In addition, within the framework of the "Campus Initiative International Skilled Workers", existing research gaps will be illuminated by conducting scientific studies on selected topics of particular relevance, and scientific findings obtained from these studies will be published. The aim is to optimise framework conditions and structures for the successful integration of the potential of international skilled workers in the future interest of German science, business and society, while at the same time taking into account the principles of fair migration in the sense of the global responsibility of academic internationalisation.

With the "Campus Initiative International Skilled Workers"

the DAAD is implementing a key component of its commitment to tapping the potential of qualified skilled workers, as mentioned in the position paper "Skilled Workers of Tomorrow" (2023). 

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Unit - P43 
Telefon: +49 228 882-225



DAAD - Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst - German Academic Exchange Service