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Ukrainian Teachers Join the Refugee Teachers Program at the University of Potsdam for the First Time

A new round of the Refugee Teachers Program at the University of Potsdam started in the summer semester. A total of 20 professionally experienced teachers with a history of flight and migration, who have a completed teaching qualification from abroad, were admitted to the program. They can now prepare themselves linguistically, professionally, pedagogically and interculturally for work in Brandenburg schools. Three of them are graduates of the Refugee Teachers Program who are studying a second subject. For the first time, there are also five teachers who are taking advantage of university education opportunities in a special program that supports Ukrainian teachers. In addition to an intensive German course, they are taking part in individual modules of the Refugee Teachers Program as well as in seminars on educational science specially tailored to them.

"The integration of international individuals into university and school life is fundamentally enriching. Everyone involved in the project has shown a great deal of flexibility in adapting the program to the specific needs of the new program participants, so that there are also promising framework conditions for the new cohort," says the Vice President for Teaching and Studies, Dr. Britta van Kempen.

The regular Refugee Teachers Program, which runs over four semesters, includes job-related intensive German courses and seminars on educational science. In addition to teaching media skills, the program also professionalizes the handling of migration-related diversity.

Three teachers in the Refugee Teachers Program are taking advantage of the new opportunity to study a second subject, which they previously lacked for full recognition of their qualifications in Germany. Two have opted for the subject of business-work-technology and one for mathematics.

Project manager Dr. Anna Aleksandra Wojciechowicz is pleased about the financial support that the qualification program is receiving from the Ministry of Science, Research and Culture. She emphasizes that refugee and migrant teachers are in need of a program adapted to their target group: "It is much more difficult for them to gain a foothold in schools in Germany than it is for teachers who have been trained and raised here."
On the way to full recognition as a teacher, the supplementary qualification at the University of Potsdam represents the first of a total of three coordinated stages. This is followed by a one-year practical school qualification by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, which will also conduct an aptitude test or adaptation course in the third stage. Full recognition of the teaching qualification opens up long-term career prospects for graduates and the opportunity to work as regular teachers at schools in Brandenburg.

Contact: Dr. Anna Aleksandra Wojciechowicz, Project Director of the Refugee Teachers Program at the Center for Teacher Training and Education Research
Diana Gonzalez Olivo, Project Coordinator for the Refugee Teachers Program
Telephone: 0331 977-256018

Media Information 25-04-2023 / No. 039