Surveying the Refugee Population in Germany – Challenges and First Answers

Monday, 16 July 2018: 14:15
Oral Presentation
Jutta VON MAURICE, Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories, Germany
Gisela WILL, Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories, Germany
Since 2014 1.4 million refugees arrived in Germany and one third of these immigrants are under age. The integration of these newcomers into society represents one of the most urgent issues in Germany today.

The conditions for a successful integration of refugees and factors hindering that integration remain without scientific evidence at the moment due to a lack of appropriate data. To close this gap the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi) in Bamberg, Germany, conducts a longitudinal refugee study which examines the process of integration into the German education system. The study “ReGES (Refugees in the German Educational System)” concentrates on two key stages of education: (1) early childhood education, and (2) the transition from lower secondary level into the vocational training system.

The proposed contribution will briefly describe the migration situation in Germany and the concept of integration, as far as the social integration of immigrants into the host society is concerned. It will be demonstrated that, for several reasons, a successful integration into the education system of the host country in childhood and youth is an integral part of the social integration of individuals with a migration background. In this context we will also discuss which aspects of existent migration research are transferable to studies on refugees and which specific aspects have to be considered additionally.

We will present our unique research design in detail as an example of an extensive study (starting cohorts, longitudinal design, interviews with important context persons, modes). Particular attention will be paid to challenges based on surveying this specific target group, e.g. cultural heterogeneity, illiteracy and many more. Solutions are discussed and their implementation in the field work is reported. For our presentation we will have results from the first wave of the study available, allowing us to show first descriptive results.