We had some discussion about immigrants and how to integrate them into German academic system.
In Saarland at the moment there's a program which is as follows:
- candidates attend a scientific exam
- if they pass, they'll enter a free program in which they also learn German language
- after a year they start as a normal student at the University of Saarland.
In the last session of exam, only ~37 attended and only ~7 passed. Apparently the exam was in German. The suggestion is to have the exam as a multiple choice exam, and in several languages from which candidates can choose. The exam should assess their scientific abilities as well as their language skills, According to the result of the exam they'll put into appropriate levels of language learning, after which they can start at the university.
There's a national university entrance exam in Iran every year, which I experienced myself. It's by no means perfect, but it's cost effective and possible to implement quickly for our purpose. We'll further look into it.
I'll also check if there's any concrete plan to integrate immigrants into MPS, and if so, we'll use the information in the leaflets we propagate later.
I had a meeting with GEW Saarland today. We talked about this issue.
They'll translate the GEW registration form into English, and add appropriate items in the form that we can relate to, e.g. PhD candidate, PostDoc, etc.
We'll collect English material that already is available in GEW, and add the related ones which can be found on the web in English, e.g. German labour law and immigration policies, and use them in GEW stands in University mensa to engage international students.
They will also try to find appropriate English speaking lawyers for tax forms and immigration issues, to at least give the information to members, if not offer the service for free to members.
Peter, the head of GEW Saarland, will talk about our ideas and issues in their meeting with other GEW branches in other states of Germany, to initiate an English language newsletter as well as federal level English registration form.
They will also decide on how and under what category to add PhD candidates and other academics, and how much to charge them as members.
I know we're all supposed to learn German as we live here, but a big portion of researchers are internationals who don't speak German.
We need to provide them relevant English material to engage them in the activities we have.
Here we shall start puting links to already translated materials, and links/names of documents that we need to get translated.