Germany is a migration society. In 2019, the German Federal Statistical Office counted 11.22 million people with exclusively foreign citizenship. For comparison, in 2010 this figure was 6.75 million (Federal Statistical Office, 2020).
About one in four people living in Germany now has a migration background (meaning that either they themselves, their parents or grandparents have migrated), i.e. 21.2 million people. This proportion is considerably higher in the former West German states and in urban centres (Federal Statistical Office, 2020). Between 2014 and 2019, 1.99 million people applied for asylum in Germany. Of these, 1.84 million were first-time applicants (BAMF 07/2020).
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 basic order as well as fair social standards and the values behind it will become an existential challenge for the cohesion of society and thus for the future of the welfare state under the rule of law as we know it. This requires an intentional and professional approach, for which only appropriately oriented social professions - above all Social Work - can vouch.
Interculturality, pluralism and solidarity, 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, recognition of different lifestyles and intercultural openness also influence the scope of action of Social Work, whose addressees have an above-average migration 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 in International Social Work with Refugees and Migrants, our Faculty is responding to the high and still growing demand for specialists for the work with refugees and migrants in the national and international context who also have the ability to take on management tasks in this field.