Master International Social Work with Refugees and Migrants :: Fakultät Angewandte Sozialwissenschaften (FAS) :: FHWS

Universitiy of Applied Sciences

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International Social Work with Refugees and Migrants

Germany is a migration society. Already in 2013, more than 20% of the population had a migration background, while this percentage is significantly higher in the old federal states and urban areas.

And this number is on the rise. In 2014, about 8.2 million foreign nationals were registered in the Central Register of Foreign Nationals (Ausländerzentralregister, AZR) – more than ever before. In 2014 alone, the net number of foreigners rose by 519,300 people (+6.8%) compared to the year before. A total of 202,834 people were seeking asylum in Germany in 2014, including 173,072 initial applications; from January to August 2015, there were 256,938 applications for asylum, including 231,302 initial applications (cf. BAMF 08/2015: Aktuelle Zahlen zu Asyl); in Germany alone, 1,500,000 refugees are expected for the whole year. 

This development will not only continue, but accelerate, encouraged by the persistence of international and national conflicts, family immigration, unequally distributed resources worldwide and changing environmental conditions, increase of mobility, demographic change and the shortage of skilled professionals. The communication of understanding and acceptance with regard to the free democratic order and its system of values will constitute an existential challenge for the cohesion of society and the future of the rule of law and the welfare state as we know it. This requires an intentional and professional approach, for which only accordingly planned caring professions – most notably Social Work – will be able to be responsible.

Interculturalism and pluralism as characteristics of the modern immigration society are developments with an increasing impact on Social Work. The field of action of Social Work, whose clientele is characterized by having an above average immigrant background is also influenced by the implementation of a “welcoming culture”, which is among other things politically focused, as well as by the promotion of diversity and intercultural opening. Against the backdrop of the globalization of social problems, Social Work has to adopt a position and demonstrate its ability to act in this context at a national and international level. In response to the high and increasingly rising demand for specialized personnel in the work with refugees and immigrants being able to take on managerial responsibilities at a national and international level, which is among other things formulated by practice, the faculty is implementing the master’s program “International Social Work with Refugees and Migrants”.