DAAD and Federal Ministry of Education launch skilled labour initiative

Qualification of international students

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is launching an initiative to recruit international students and graduates and qualify them as future specialists for the German labour market. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is supporting the new initiative with a total of almost 120 million euros until 2028.

"Germany is in third place in the global ranking of the most popular countries to study in. For a large number of international students, the good prospects of remaining in Germany later in their careers have already been a key factor in deciding in favour of Germany as a place to study in the past. With the 'Campus Initiative for International Professionals', we want to provide international students with tailored support during their studies and in their transition to the German labour market. After all, we urgently need more bright minds and hard-working hands for growth and prosperity in our country," said Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger. 

"German universities are demonstrably highly attractive beacons for the immigration of skilled labour from all over the world: Germany is now the third most attractive country in the world for international students and doctoral candidates. With this initiative, we are expanding the opportunities for our member universities to qualify and support international talent during their studies, at graduation and during their transition into the German labour market. In this way, we are strengthening the integration of international students at universities and in our society. At the same time, we ensure that young people from all over the world have better career opportunities in Germany after successfully completing their studies and contribute to alleviating the shortage of skilled workers," said DAAD President Prof Dr Joybrato Mukherjee.


The initiative comprises two programmes: In the FIT - Promotion of International Talent for Integration into Studies and the Labour Market programme, universities can offer international students tailor-made support measures in the various phases of their studies. For example, preparatory courses, accompanying programmes for academic success and integration into university and society as well as programmes for entry into working life are possible. Once the participating universities have been selected, up to 70 projects will be funded from spring 2024. Around one million euros will be available per project until 2028. 

The second programme, Profi plus - Academic Adaptation Qualification for the German Labour Market, is aimed at international academics who already have a foreign university degree and often have professional experience. They are to be supported in adapting their qualifications to the requirements of the German labour market and thus gain better opportunities for their career. In addition to additional specialised training, this includes job application coaching or job-related language and communication training. Participants in the programme will also gain practical experience in companies in the respective university region and thus have career entry or promotion opportunities. Funding is planned for up to 25 university projects, with around 700,000 euros available per project until 2028. 

The DAAD will also provide academic support for the initiative with thematically relevant studies and conferences.


DAAD - Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst - German Academic Exchange Service