Many students with a migration background face huge challenges on their way to (re-)enter the higher education systems in Europe: In contrast to “regular” international students, most of them did not have the time to plan and prepare for entering a university abroad or a foreign job market. As a result, most students with a migration background do not only lack sufficient command of the respective language of instruction, but also knowledge and understanding of the European higher education systems in general. Moreover, the refugee status – as one example – is often connected to legal and social constraints. This leaves many students with a migration background with little room to plan and promote their further academic careers.

To address these issues, we have drafted a handbook and developed guidelines as part of the IncluSTEM project. We have looked at the situation that students with a refugee background find themselves in in Germany, Spain and Sweden and elaborated on common challenges in all three countries. Using good practices examples to illustrate what is possible in terms of supporting refugee students to (re)enter the European higher education system paved the way for the formulation of guidelines in the handbook.

The guidelines for academic advising may not only be used by the partners of the project but have proven to be of relevance for staff of various universities working with students with a migration background. Experiences working with students with a migration background, good practice examples and knowledge in admission, psychological counselling and compensation have been shared on an ongoing basis with staff working at different European universities and will continue to play an important role after the end of the project.

The handbook “From Onboarding to Securing Academic Success: Guiding Refugee Students Towards University Studies in Europe” and the guidelines for academic advising are available for download at the materials section of this website.