University of Cologne Receives DAAD Funding to Qualify International Talent

main building of the University of Cologne © Simon Wegener Fotografie

This funding will serve to better integrate international graduates into the German workforce. The successful University of Cologne project NISA will support their entry into the workplace and build a network with employers.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will be supporting over one hundred universities across Germany with the qualification process of international students, enabling them to become future specialists. A total of around 120 million euros in funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is available for the initiative until 2028. Within the framework of ‘Campus Initiative for International Talents’, 114 projects have currently been selected for funding. This also includes the project ‘Networking International Studium und Arbeitsmarkt’ (NISA) of the International Division at the University of Cologne that is funded within the DAAD ‘FIT’ programme.

Many international students in Germany still cut short their degree programmes, or after successfully achieving their degree do not find entry into the German work force. The University of Cologne is already a pioneer through its programme ‘Studienstart International’ for the introductory phase in terms of successful outcomes. In addition to other offers the ‘Career Services International’ are also being expanded. Since April 2020, offers to improve the employability of international students have already been established.  This funding guarantees the continuation of the NISA project until the end of 2028, supplemented by additional resources in order to build an extensive network of employers.  A total of 1.1 million euros have been applied for to realize the project. The exact amount that will be approved is still outstanding.

Project manager Dr Susanne Preuschoff said: “We are proud and happy that we are able to integrate international students in the work force through NISA. We were still missing this piece of the puzzle to enable the International Division to cover the entire student life cycle. We are confident that networking that already takes place during the whole degree programme paves the way to successful access to the work force.”

Within the framework of the ‘FIT’ programme, German universities will be able to support international students who are pursuing a degree in Germany with additional offers at the beginning of their study, during the degree programme and when transitioning to the German work force. The main focus lies on career guidance and support. The funding also serves as a network between universities, businesses and economy-related institutions.

Read the article on the website of the University of Cologne.