Germany is a migration society. Already in 2013, more than 20 % of the population had a migrant background; in the former West German states and in highly populated cities this share is even higher.
There is a rising tendency. In 2014, the Central Register of Foreign Nationals (Ausländerzentralregister, AZR) listed almost 8.2 million people with exclusively foreign nationality - so many like never before. Within the year 2014, the number of foreigners rose by a net 519,000 people (+6.8 %). Throughout the year 2014, 202,834 people applied for asylum, among them 173,072 first applications; already within the first eight months of 2015, there were 256,938 applications for asylum, among them 231,302 first applications (see BAMF 08/2015: current figures on asylum); for the whole year, up to 800,000 refugees are expected in Germany alone.
Due to ongoing international and national conflicts, subsequent immigration of family members, global inequality in the distribution of resources and changing environmental conditions, growing mobility, demographic changes, and the lack of skilled workers this development will not only continue, but accelerate. The communication of understanding and acceptance of the free democratic order and the values behind it will become an existential challenge for the cohesion of society and thus the future of welfare state under the rule of law as we know it. This requires an intentional and professional approach, for which only appropriately oriented social professiona - above all social work - can vouch.
Interculturality and pluralism, characteristics of the modern immigration society, are developments that also increasingly affect social work. The establishment of a “welcome culture”, which is, among other things, politically focused, the promotion of diversity and intercultural openness also influence the scope of action of social work, whose focus group has an above-average migrant background. Against the background of the globalisation of social problems, social work must take a stand and prove its ability to act in this context on a national and international level. By implementing the master's programme International Social Work with Refugees and Migrants, our Faculty is responding to the high and still growing demand for specialists in working with refugees and migrants in the national and international context by enabling them to take on management tasks in this area.