The Berlin Refugee Research Group (BRRG)

We are investigating both the hindrances that new refugee arrivals to Berlin face as they seek entry into university, and which university support mechanisms and innovative projects are currently in place or still need to developed. The overarching goal of our work is to document from a macro and micro perspective the kinds of changes universities are making as they address the short- and long-term implications of the refugee influx. We believe that what we can learn about the barriers to newcomers as well as the experiences of administrators and evaluations of their projects can provide unique insight into the Berlin higher education landscape.

Thematic focus of the research

Refugee integration into German higher education, pathways and hindrances, perspectives and opportunities.

Current studies

  • Interviews with university administrators in 7 Berlin universities and universities of applied sciences (Hochschulen): Summer 2017
  • Interviews with refugee students on their experience entering German higher education: Summer 2018


Streitwieser, B., Schmidt, M. A., Brück, L., & Gläsener, K. M. (2019). Not a Crisis but a Coping Challenge: How Berlin Universities Responded to the Refugee Influx. In K. Arar, K. Haj-Yehia, D. Ross & Y. Kondakci (Eds.), Higher Education Challenges for Migrant and Refugee Students in a Global World. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

Streitweiser, B., Schmidt, M. A., Gläsener, K. M., & Brück, L. (2018). Needs, barriers and support systems for refugee students in Germany. In Global Education Review 5 (4), 136-157.

Schmidt, M.A. (2018): Aus Sicht der Mitarbeiter [The employee’s perspective]. In duz Wissenschaft & Management 05/2018, 24-27,