Dr. David Schiefer of the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration gave a talk on the “Challenges of empirically assessing the life situations of refugees in Germany” at the LIfBi.
In his talk, Schiefer presented the results of a feasibility study that revealed a lack of reliable empirical data assessing the life situations of people with a refugee background in Germany so far. Additionally, as Schiefer pointed out, the very heterogeneous group comprises people from various countries of origin, with different legal statuses, and varying durations of stay. Based on this feasibility study, he illustrated the methodological challenges by referring to the qualitative study “From arrival to participation in society: How refugees view their lives in Germany”. As Schiefer emphasized, this results in the imperative for researchers to differentiate and focus on subgroups or specific research questions—a challenge that, according to the guest lecturer, is met well in the ReGES study by focusing on two cohorts and the question of the educational success of refugees. Moreover, Schiefer also highlighted further core challenges, such as drawing a representative sample, carefully preparing field access, and interviewing—aspects that were also addressed in the round of discussions that followed.
The public lecture series “Refugees in Germany–Educational Trajectories and Social Integration”, which is hosted by the LIfBi as part of project “ReGES–Refugees in the German Educational System” whose funding is provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF), will continue in the coming weeks. All dates for 2016 and 2017 can be found here (German only).