DAAD promotes the recruitment and qualification of in-ternational talents

Skilled labour initiative

From April, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will be supporting over one hundred universities across Germany in quali-fying international students as future specialists. 114 projects have currently been selected as part of the "Campus Initiative for Inter-national Talents". A total of around 120 million euros in funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is available for the initiative until 2028.

International Studierende auf einem Campus

"Germany is one of the top 3 destination countries for international students and doctoral candidates. At the same time, the shortage of skilled labour in our country is reaching dramatic proportions. It therefore makes sense to at-tract international talent to Germany for a longer-term stay after they have successfully completed their studies. German universities want to be a driving force in attracting international skilled workers. This is also reflected in the high level of participation in the calls for proposals for the ‘Campus Initiative’. From April, we will therefore be funding a total of 114 projects at 104 universi-ties in all federal states in order to better pave the way for international talent from university to the German labour market," said DAAD President Prof. Dr Joybrato Mukherjee.

FIT programme line: Promoting Academic Success and Labour Market Integration of International Talents

The skilled labour initiative consists of two programme lines: “FIT” and "Pro plus”. As part of the “FIT” programme, German universities can support inter-national students seeking a degree in Germany with additional services at the start of their studies, during their studies and during their transition into the German labour market. One focus is on career-related counselling and sup-port. The promotion of networking between universities, companies and busi-ness-related institutions is also intended to make it easier for international graduates to enter the German labour market.

Pro plus programme line: Academic Training for the German Labour Market

In the “Pro plus” programme line, German universities can promote the pro-fessional qualification of international academics with a foreign university de-gree. The programme provides international academics with additional spe-cialist knowledge for the German labour market and enables them to develop their language and social skills. Co-operations with German companies and institutions from the respective professional fields also make it possible to gain practical experience and build professional networks.

International students as the specialists of tomorrow

According to a DAAD quick survey, German universities are heading for a new record of around 380,000 international students in the winter semester 2023/24. This means that Germany remains the third most popular destination for international students worldwide, after the USA and the United Kingdom. According to another DAAD survey, good career prospects are an important reason for international students to choose to study in Germany.

Background Example projects FIT and Pro plus 

FIT projects
At Heidelberg University, the integration programme "Make Your Way - Study to Stay" aims to offer international students the opportunity to accompany German families on public holidays, among other things. This gives them an authentic insight into everyday German culture and enables them to socialise off campus. In addition, participants can receive credit points for completing practical work experience and intercultural seminars to incentivise participa-tion in pre-vocational support measures.

In the "Ready, Study, Go" project, the Cologne University of Applied Sciences aims to bring international students from STEM degree programmes into regu-lar contact with recruiters from companies and business-related institutions in the region. This will strengthen the dialogue between potential employers and future specialists. The project also aims to help international students expand their theoretical knowledge in a practical way, making it easier for them to gain access to the German labour market.

Pro plus projects
In the "Profi plus in Bremen" project, the University of Bremen is focussing on addressing international female academics with a degree in a STEM subject who are underrepresented in German companies. In particular, they are to be made aware of the opportunities offered by the German labour market in the STEM Division. Individual career coaching and the teaching of so-called future skills are intended to open up additional opportunities for a successful career start in Germany.

The Freiburg University of Education wants to improve the recruitment of in-ternational teachers in the "HOLA: University certificate for teachers with for-eign university degrees" programme. To this end, the programme includes professional language-oriented German courses, continuous language sup-port during the adaptation qualification and individual language learning ad-vice. The aim is to prepare participants for the high language requirements of teaching in Germany and to enable them to deal professionally with the chal-lenges of everyday school life in a migrant society.


Related Topics

DAAD - Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst - German Academic Exchange Service