Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research has launched two innovative initiatives in collaboration with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). FIT (International Talent Promotion for Integration into Studies and the Labour Market) and Profi plus (Academic Adaptation Qualification for the German Labour Market) are set to transform the landscape for international students and graduates in Germany.
The FIT programme emerges as a beacon of hope for international students. FIR, which stands for “Promotion of International Talent for Integration into Studies and the Labour Market,” is set to begin in the spring of 2024 and will fund up to 70 projects at German universities. Dhanashree Deodhar, DAAD Regional Officer, explains the initiative’s comprehensive approach.
According to Deodhar, the FIT programme offers international students tailored support measures at various stages of their studies. This includes preparatory courses, academic support, integration into university and society, and assistance with entry into the labour force. FIT will fund up to 70 projects, with approximately one million euros available per project until 2028.
Speaking about the development, Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger said:
In the past, many international students considered the possibility of remaining in Germany later in their careers when deciding whether to study in Germany. Germany is in third place in the global ranking of the most popular countries to study in. For many international students, the promising 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.
The initiative’s second programme is Profi Plus, which stands for “Academic Adaptation Qualification for the German Labour Market.” It is aimed at international graduates with degrees from foreign universities. Profi Plus, like FIT, will support up to 25 university projects with a budget of up to €700,000 per project. The programme is designed to assist graduates in meeting the requirements of the German labour market.
The initiative, according to DAAD President Joybrato Mukherjee, expands member universities’ opportunities to qualify and support international students while studying in Germany and after graduation and to access 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 worldwide have better career opportunities in Germany after successfully completing their studies and contribute to alleviating the shortage of skilled workers.
Germany is one of the most sought-after study destinations for international students, with nearly 370,000 international students enrolled in German higher education during the 2022/23 academic year. This spike in international student enrollment contributed significantly to Germany surpassing Australia as one of the international students’ most popular study destinations. Germany currently ranks third globally for international students and first among non-English-speaking countries.