Students from Allepo, Homs or Damaskus are trying to get a visa from western countries. No chance. “It makes us feel like trash,” said a syrian refugee. “Let’s be honest, the whole world won’t take us in, except for Germany and Austria and Sweden.”
At our university I talked during the last year with around hundred refugees from Syria and other countries. Alone Mannheim’s universities had around 600 refugees coming to catch up on information workshops. “I came here to Germany to learn. I would like to study at your university. Tell me, what can I do to be a student at your technical departments.”
In a yesterday’s October article of Atlantic Monthly “The Higher-Education Crisis Beneath a Civil War” John Marcus has an optimistic view on Germany’s refugee immigration. “If Germany manages to master this crisis, we will look back in 10 or 20 years and say this was really the badly needed influx of a younger, more diverse, educated labor force we really, really needed.”
To make this happen, there is a lot to do. First steps will be: fast admissions for guest students and free of charge, technical or special language courses at universities, full access to university service centers and integration services for intrigued applicants, generous acceptance of home certificates, adjusting registration procedures and case-by-case reviews and fostering talents among minor unattended refugees.