Study Success and Opportunities for Refugees in Higher Education

Prof. Dr. Patricia Arnold
Department of Applied Social Sciences

The joint research project SUCCESS investigates the effectiveness of different approaches and practices for promoting access to higher education and study success of refugees. In collaboration with Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and RWTH Aachen University SUCCESS is investigating the innovative educational concept of Kiron Open Higher Education (www.kiron.ngo). Kiron is an online educational offer for refugees, which is based on MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and complemented by different support services. As accompanying research SUCCESS is investigating the following interventions and measures at Kiron:

  • Competence diagnostics prior to and during online studies (University Mainz)
  • Study orientation with the help of an online self-assessment (RWTH)
  • Accompanying study support services (Munich University of Applied Sciences)

Digital education with its high flexibility of time and location enables personalization of educational careers and offers choice to students as to how quickly they complete their study tracks. Thus it entails a high potential of serving the special life circumstances and needs of refugees. At the same time it is well known that online learning comes with high demands in terms of self-management, study motivation, time management and capacity for self-organization. Moreover, especially MOOCs are characterized by high dropout rates (Schulmeister 2013, Ho et al. 2015). Extra support services for digital learners are therefore considered as an important success factor (z.B. Arnold et al. 2015, Arnold et al. 2002). Based on this, SUCCESS at Munich University of Applied Sciences is researching various support services as parts of Kiron’s study offer, such as the Buddy Program and Mentoring Program. This component of SUCCESS investigates to what extent these services support student’s study success as well as their overall societal participation.

Project duration:
01.01.2017 - 31.12.2019, extended until 31.03.2020

Funded by:
Federal Ministry of Education and Research


Prof. Dr. Patricia Arnold
Room: KO 322

Tel.: 089 1265-2344
Fax: 089 1265-2330

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Belma Halkic
Room: KO 232

Tel.: 089 1265-2301
Fax: 089 1265-2330